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Eastern housebuilder paves the way for women in construction

Eastern housebuilder paves the way for women in construction

Lovell Breaking Ground for Women in Construction

The construction industry is widely reported to have the worst gender balance of any UK industry, with just 13%1of all workers being female. As the 8 March 2021 celebrates International Women’s Day with the theme ‘Choose To Challenge’, Lovell is celebrating its year-round commitment to improving gender equality.

Compared to industry norms, thirty per cent of Lovell’s workforce is female, while not quite the 50/50 split the business is striving for, this figure demonstrates the ongoing commitment to even up the balance. Through its culture, staff and initiatives, rectifying the gender imbalance in the construction industry is something Lovell strives to achieve every day. As a consequence, these actions are naturally embedded within the business.

Marlena Przewuska, development manager in the Eastern region, is a strong advocate of women in construction and is part of Lovell’s commitment to spearheading change. Marlena said: “Attracting more women into construction will require us to shatter the myth that women don’t belong in this industry. As a woman in construction, particularly a woman in construction at Lovell, I have had equal opportunities to progress my career and I have never come across any gender barriers in my three years at the company.

“I think misconceptions about gender specific roles are gradually diminishing over time as we see more females are choosing a career in construction. There had been times in my previous roles when my ideas weren’t listened to or taken seriously because I was female, which can be really discouraging.”

While Lovell has a clear strategy to address the imbalance of gender equality in its own business, it’s important that the industry joins forces to emphasise that women have an equal place in construction.

Ellie Cockroft, assistant quantity surveyor in the Eastern region, said: “Since I started my career in construction in 2005 I have definitely seen an improvement in the number of women in the industry, however I still feel that women in construction are looked at differently sometimes, especially when wearing a hard hat on a live building site.

“Engaging with students, graduates and other young professionals considering their career choices is where we must target our message. When I was choosing my career in construction it wasn’t made clear just how many different roles there are within the industry and I therefore enrolled on a bricklaying course before I was given further advice about quantity surveying. When I was given initial careers advice there was a perception that working in construction is just being a ‘trades person’ and I think we need to continue teaching and inspiring young women about all the professional roles available within the industry.”

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