Encouraging Diversity in our Industry

When it comes to Diversity- just how much progress are we making? We still have a very wide gulf between where we are, and an industry that is a perfectly natural choice for young people and women.

Last year, Randstad surveyed more than 5,400 construction, property, engineering and rail professionals to find out the key barriers, limitations and challenges that women face on the path to senior leadership.

Out of 1,200 people that had experienced gender discrimination (33%), 60% were women. Three quarters (73%) of women said they felt they had been passed over for projects because of their gender and not their skills, compared to just 27% of men.

Are we discriminating? Unconscious bias remains an issue and it’s something we are working hard to overcome. The language used in job descriptions can be influential and simple steps such as removing names and gender from applications can help a great deal. Given the skills crisis and the need to transform the way the industry works, we simply need as many talented people as we can get. We also know that performance is nothing to do with gender when people are given the same opportunities.

To keep moving forward,  we have to confront issues of bias and make a conscious effort to eliminate the effects. In other words, it largely comes down to the culture we create, and clearly the businesses that do the best job of creating a welcoming culture for all people of talent will be the biggest winners.