Higgins Construction’s senior site manager Victoria Betts has recently been the face of a new campaign launched by Considerate Constructors focusing on Women in Construction.
The campaign seeks to increase the understanding of the issue of women in construction, highlight the great work done so far to promote diversity, showcase female role models and offer guidance on how to further encourage women into the industry.
In 2016, the number of women directly employed in construction hit a 20 year high. But despite comprising over 50% of the UK population, women still make up only 11% of the construction workforce; this number drops to just 1% of operatives on site. At less than 10% of engineering professionals, the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers in Europe. With the industry facing a skills shortage, it has never been more important to draw from a wider pool of talent.
Victoria Betts has been working in construction industry for nearly ten years in a site management role, and before this worked alongside her father for a general building company carrying out plastering, tiling and kitchen installation. Victoria is currently senior site manager at Gabriel Square in St Albans, which is due to be completed in March 2018. Victoria has also been part of the Higgins’ Management Development Programme which provides the support and training across all aspects of the business and actively encourages career progression.
Victoria Betts said: "I am delighted to be part of this important campaign. In the time I have been working in the industry there has definitely been an increase in the amount of females working in it. The Considerate Constructors Scheme has been a big driving force in this as it insists on facilities for females that previously would not have been in place.
"I would strongly recommend a career in construction for females. It is a very rewarding job with a potential for high salaries and a chance to get yourself noticed. I would strongly advise women to go against what they are being told regarding the industry being male dominated as females have a place here too!"
Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive, Edward Hardy said: "Thank you to everyone who has contributed to ‘Spotlight on…women in construction’. The Campaign provides a must-read set of resources for organisations and individuals who would like to improve their standards of considerate construction – with the aim of driving greater equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our industry.
"Not only is it imperative that standards must be raised in this area, in order to help encourage more women into the industry, but a more equal and diverse workforce also brings greater collaboration, creative thinking and more inclusive workplaces. This can only be a positive step in helping to improve the image of the UK and Irish construction industries."