CPI and women in construction: Paving the way towards an inclusive future
At CPI, we strive to achieve greater inclusion of women in our workplaces. We believe women are significantly underrepresented in the construction industry in general and that attracting more female talent and achieving greater representation of women in all roles in the sector will have a positive impact.
Identifying and attracting the best talent is always a challenge of recruitment. We have modified our recruitment practices and channels at CPI to ensure we reach a wide demographic talent pool. The number of female colleagues at CPI increased by five in 2021, which is an early positive indication of change in our demographic.
We are enthusiastic about opening up new career paths that women may not even have thought of as viable options for themselves. We are delighted to have recruited our first female driver colleague and proud to have supported an existing female colleague at Harlow through our driver academy to attain her HGV licence and take her place behind the wheel as part of the driver team.
We identified barriers in our own work environment that might prevent women joining our business. Our welfare, changing and shower facilities have been upgraded to ensure that they are suitable for both male and female colleagues. We recognise that our colleague facilities need to be suitable for the demographic we want in the business and not simply the demographic that currently exists.
The CPI range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) clothing was based on a male design and sizing. We have now extended the range of PPE to ensure that it includes both male and female sizing and options for all relevant PPE requirements.
Gender diversity within the construction industry is astonishingly low. According to The Guardian, women make up just 11% of the entire construction workforce. The construction industry is male-dominated, and as a result, professions associated with construction are less promoted to women, leading to extremely low levels of female employees entering the sector. Moreover, women that do wish to work in construction, are sometimes met with barriers to progression resulting in them abandoning construction as a career entirely and the loss of talent from the industry.
CPI recognises that a diverse workforce leads to higher employee engagement, better decision making, and higher levels of productivity. A diverse workforce brings a range of fresh perspectives, leading to increased creativity and innovation. Perhaps most importantly, when people feel that they are welcome, accepted and valued team members, they do their best work, resulting in high levels of personal and professional fulfilment, which is why we believe in creating a more inclusive workplace.
CPI is proud to champion its female colleagues, and our team is continually challenging our work practices to ensure we provide an inclusive workplace for all to support our ambitions in achieving an increasingly diverse and representative workforce.
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