Tackling the gender imbalance
Midland Heart housing association is stepping up action to encourage more women to consider careers in the construction industry.
The organisation has teamed up with Women into Construction - an organisation connecting women with contractors and training agencies - to help tackle the gender imbalance in its property maintenance workforce.
Baljinder Kang, Executive Director of Human Resources and Learning, Midland Heart, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Women into Construction on this important project to boost the number of women applying for jobs in our property maintenance service, roles traditionally taken up by men.
“This exciting initiative gives us a real opportunity to try and address some of the societal norms that exist and to break down what are seen as traditional male roles.”
Women into Construction is an independent not-for-profit organisation promoting gender equality in construction.
Kath Moore MBE, Managing Director, Women into Construction CIC, said: "We are delighted to welcome Midland Heart as a member of Women into Construction. Midland Heart are working proactively with us to promote opportunities to women, both at recruitment events and through the development of a positive action programme to encourage more women into the sector.
“We are very pleased with this positive engagement, and are looking forward to continuing to develop our relationship and increase the representation of women within the organisation.”
Midland Heart had already recognised the significant skills shortages in some construction trades, including plastering, and has worked with South and City College to provide multi-trade training so, for instance, an electrician also has the skills to plaster.
Baljinder Kang added: “Now we are looking at ways of improving the areas of our workforce where women – and also men – are under-represented. This includes property maintenance where the workforce is predominantly male and our care services where staff are overwhelmingly female.
“Our hope is that through this initiative and a drive to increase multi-trade training more women will be encouraged to find out that the construction industry has a lot to offer and will seek apprenticeships or further training.”
Saima Yaqub, Apprenticeship and Volunteering Manager, Midland Heart, added: “Midland Heart is committed to offering work placements, mentoring and interviews for job opportunities including apprenticeships, as well as supporting wider awareness across other employers.
“Further, as a result of our positive engagement and drive for this initiative, I have been invited to join the Women into Construction’s West Midlands steering group.”
The Women into Construction Project was set up to address the gender imbalance on the construction of the Olympic Park. On completion of the park in 2011, the project was extended to construction sites across London.
In 2015, Women into Construction became an independent not for profit organisation, delivering advice and guidance, training, work placements and jobs to women interested in entering the construction industry, as well as assisting contractors to recruit highly motivated, trained women to help reduce skills gaps and create a more gender-equal workforce.
For more information go to: https://www.women-into-construction.org/