Callum Tuckett, Managing Director
Written by
Callum Tuckett, Managing Director

As we mark International Women’s Day this year, it is a time to celebrate the women in our UK business and the steps we have taken to make construction careers more accessible to everyone, but we also have to acknowledge that there is still a long way to go towards achieving gender equity.

Where we want to be

It is well-documented that the construction industry is behind the curve in terms of creating opportunities for women, including pay equity, flexible working arrangements, and career progression.

Promoting greater diversity is not just a moral obligation – there is a genuine business case for it. Greater diversity in our workforce strengthens our business by increasing the variety of views we bring to a problem, which increases the variety of solutions proposed. If we do not embrace this, we risk growing stagnant and limiting ourselves by continuing to apply the same approaches.

The construction industry must change and we all have a role to play, men and women together. Today, we are talking about women, but greater diversity doesn’t just mean having more women. Bringing more women into construction is part of a wider movement towards greater overall diversity and inclusion.

Our progress so far

Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight, or by implementing one single initiative. We need a concerted effort at a senior level to tackle bias and the courage to try new things and engineer the solution, which is what we have been doing for the past two years.

Some of our achievements to date that we are proud to highlight today include:

  • Enhanced maternity pay for 39 weeks (nine months leave at full pay) and shared parental leave
  • Trialling flexible working pilots onsite and at head office
  • A referral programme that incentivises referring female candidates
  • Trialling the use of anonymised CVs, where the gender of the applicant is not specified
  • Our new Women’s Network, which we are launching today to demonstrate our commitment to gender equality and the betterment of women in the construction sector.

Looking to the future

Although we are already taking steps in the right direction, we still have a long way to go to drive cultural change. We want to lead by example and so for the first time we are publishing the specific targets we have set ourselves to combat the issues facing women in construction.

Our goal is to address female representation and gender pay disparity in our UK business. To achieve this we have set the following targets:

  1. By 2022: 50% of all graduate intakes will be female
  2. By 2023: A minimum increase of 5% in the number of females holding management positions. As a project-led business, we will also endeavour to have at least 10% of our projects led by a female team member
  3. By 2025: Our UK business will have female representation of 25%
  4. By 2025: Improve our median gender pay gap by at least 10% and strive to be better than the industry average of the top 100 contractors in the UK

Multiplex has never been more committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace. We believe that these targets will help us increase the number of women in our UK business and contribute to a wider reshaping of the construction industry.