Thames chief in fight to find women tunnellers

Grant Prior 9 years ago
Share

Thames Tideway chief executive Andy Mitchell admits he is facing a “real challenge” to have half of the scheme’s workforce made up of women.

Mitchell made the pledge on gender parity just weeks after joining the project this summer.

The current workforce consists of 29% women.

But Mitchell fears that percentage could fall as the project moves from the office stage to construction on site.

In an article in the Guardian he wrote: “Just six years into the project, 29% of our 450-strong workforce is female.

“But we are at present a largely office-based team and I am acutely aware that we have yet to face the real challenge.

“We are likely to see a significant drop in the percentage of woman versus men when we are joined by the contractors to do the main works construction.”

Mitchell is determined to raise the profile of women in an industry where they account for just 10% of the workforce.

He said: “In responding to the fears about how we are going to achieve the unachievable, I’m happy to tell everyone who is interested that we are working to create a culture that finds out from women themselves what they want and how they think we can attract their counterparts.

“It’s not a bunch of blokes sat around a table making assumptions on why we think women don’t want to work in construction.

“We are finding out the true obstacles so that we can we try to overcome them.”

Figures for the project during the first six-months of this year show only 21% of 869 applicants for jobs with Thames Tideway were female.

Mitchell said: “At the peak of construction, we’ll be creating more than 4,000 direct jobs and another 5,000 indirect, and we need to make sure when we advertise those roles, we’re getting a far better rate of female applicants than we are now.”

Thames Tideway bosses are working with Westminster and Loughborough universities to discover the perceived obstacles for women in engineering.

Mitchell said: “Gender parity is a bold statement, and maybe it is too ambitious, but I don’t see the point in striving for anything less.

“If we achieve this goal, I believe it will change the face of construction for future generations.”

 

Latest news

Berkeley subbies face six weeks without payments

Introduction of new finance software means payment hiatus for suppliers
18 hours ago

Pagabo reveals 56 winners of latest £1.6bn retrofit deal

Decarbonisation Solutions Framework launched: Full list of winners
18 hours ago

Go-ahead for £100m Liverpool Love Lane flats

500-flat scheme will be built across four blocks in Vauxhall area of city
18 hours ago

Unions win HS2 site access battle at Old Oak Common job

Skanska, Costain, Strabag JV now the last denying unions access to HS2 sites
17 hours ago

Contractors jack 1,100t viaduct into place in 13-hour operation

158m-long composite deck structure jacked into place 10-hours ahead of schedule
18 hours ago

Wates wins former Daily Mail printworks transformation

British Land advances major cultural venue at London’s Canada Water
2 days ago

Mace poaches Ramboll chief to be Head of Engineering

Martin Feakes will develop civil and structural engineering offer at Mace
2 days ago

Subcontractors form alliance for major civils jobs

Trio of specialists join forces to collaborate and offer Tier 1 contractors a turnkey solution
2 days ago

Fear of supply chain failures boosting collaboration

Procurement survey also reveals project bank account use is rising
2 days ago

Wates sets up business to target 160,000 mouldy social homes

Healthy Homes service will be offered to social landlords across England
2 days ago

Higgins wins £75m Peabody Passive House job

Latest phase of Deptford Landings to start construction
2 days ago

Contractors and unions agree Sizewell C working deal

New deal offers improved sick pay and parental leave over Hinkley Point deal
2 days ago

Competition chiefs win legal fight for more construction raids

High Court rules CMA officials can raid a domestic property as part of investigation
2 days ago

More Osborne companies file administration notices

Three more divisions lodge notices with court
3 days ago

McLaren wins multi-storey urban logistics contract

South London win with British Land is pioneering urban logistics hub
3 days ago

Big social housing schemes at risk over funding uncertainty

Housing associations warn uncertainty over public funding beyond 2026 is curbing new schemes
3 days ago

Kier wins Worcestershire town centre renewal

Firm secures Bromsgrove commercial and cultural hub project
3 days ago

BAM signs Kent school contract at £42m

Sevenoaks school rebuild signed off at £8m more than first estimates
3 days ago

RG Group signs £121m Newcastle rental homes job

Developer Olympian Homes advances 519 flats plan at Pottery Lane site
6 days ago

Geoffrey Osborne files administration notice

Contractor in talks to save parts of the business
6 days ago

Winners named for £260m Manchester Uni framework

B&K, Henry Bros, Graham, Robertson and Vinci among new line-up
6 days ago

Shed specialist Benniman rides out market lull

Worcestershire warehouse builder says industrial and logistics work is picking up again
6 days ago

Another contractor cleared after high profile immigration raid

Adana Construction employees were working legally on site swooped on by Home Office
6 days ago

McAleer & Rushe wants to meet new London suppliers

Contractor holding Meet the Buyer event in London: Register now
6 days ago

McAlpine signs £500m Broadgate dual towers deal

Work to start on iconic 36-storey and 21-storey towers
7 days ago

Worker rescued from collapsed four metre deep trench

Fire crews take six hours to save trapped builder near Blackwall Tunnel
7 days ago

Gove puts another major building scheme on hold

Secretary of State starts another planning fight after M&S defeat
1 week ago

Greenwich University tenders £300m framework

Up to five firms will carry out upgrade and newbuild work at three campuses
7 days ago

Work starts on Manchester 26-storey Obsidian tower

Contractor Domis starts Salboy's 10th Manchester scheme in seven years
7 days ago

Race for £1.3bn West Midlands social homes framework

The Community Housing Group reboots tender race for new build housing
7 days ago

Contractor services