Following on from winning Women In Construction Award’s 2017 ‘Engineer of the Year: Building Services’, Elaine Bissell, Associate Director (Building Services) proudly continues to champion the equality of women within the construction industry.
Elaine attended the inaugural ‘Inspire Summit 2017’, an event which brought together almost 400 construction, engineering & housing professionals to hear about the achievements of women blazing a trail in the built environment with the word of the day being ‘resilience’.
The event took place on 6 September at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, and was sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Building, A. Connolly Ltd, Galliford Try Partnerships, Mears, Redrow Homes, Travis Perkins, Wates and Willmott Dixon. Hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Marverine Cole, both men and women working in the built environment, as well as students and school pupils hoping to join the industry, were in attendance. Questions were asked about how to encourage more women into the sector and about how to educate people about the opportunities that are available.
Jane Nelson, executive director of Mears Group, who began her career in the industry as a trainee painter and decorator over 30 years ago stated: ‘There is an onus on construction employers to understand the barriers out there if they are to employ more tradeswomen,’ and telling delegates that ‘Britain needs to hire 400,000 workers a year to keep building homes but women still only make up 1% of the trades workforce’.
Elaine was so inspired by the stories of the women who spoke at the event that she has volunteered as a speaker at the same event in Manchester next year, in the hope to inspire others with her own experiences.