National Women in Engineering Day: More Women Needed

Women play an important role in construction, but not in significant numbers – the industry needs to work harder to attract more women to the sector .

25th June 2015

Last Tuesday was the National Women in Engineering Day. Although set up by the Women’s Engineering Society to celebrate its 95th anniversary, the day highlighted the role that women play in all aspects of construction and not just showcase the great engineering careers available to girls and women in Wales and the UK.

There was a lot of support for the initiative and traffic on social media. For example, we were reminded that it was a team of women that built London’s Waterloo Bridge. However, women make up only 11 per cent of the construction workforce and just 1 per cent of workers on site. The Office for National Statistics says that the number of women working as roofers, bricklayers and glaziers is so low that it is unmeasurable. These low figures are also reflected in UCATT’s membership, where women construction workers make up only a small proportion of total membership. But that is set to change. UCATT is redoubling its efforts to fight for dignity and equality for women already working in the sector, so that more women can and want to work in construction – click here for more information.

But, for now, let’s consider our own role model: CEW Awards 2015 Young Achiever of the Year, Ester Coma Bassas a research assistant at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture, has developed an impressive set of skills that were on full display during the design and construction of the Solcer demonstration house. She is a fine example of what can be achieved and you can read about her here.