March 8, 2024

Breaking moulds and laying foundations: International Womens Day 2024

March 4th – 8th, 2024 marks Women in Construction Week, a time dedicated to honouring the contributions of women in the construction industry.

As the Group Operations Director at DRG Interior and Building Solutions, I am proud to be part of a company that embraces and promotes this celebration. At DRG, we recognise the significance of inspiring young girls to explore the diverse opportunities available in construction and are committed to breaking stereotypes to empower women to pursue rewarding careers within the industry.

Currently, women make up approximately 14% of professionals in the construction sector, a number that continues to grow as more women embark on careers in construction and engineering. We are witnessing a positive shift in attitudes towards gender-specific roles, with an increasing number of women demonstrating their excellence in construction and engineering fields. At DRG, we fully support and encourage this, advocating for a more inclusive industry that welcomes individuals of all genders. In the past, girls may not have been encouraged to consider careers in construction, but it is essential to change this narrative and expose them to the vast array of opportunities available within the industry.  I truly believe this should start at home and in early years educational settings, and that we shouldn’t make assumptions that girls should play with kitchens and dolls and boys should play with building blocks and cars.  

The construction sector offers a wide range of career paths, including site-based roles, quantity surveying, project management, administration, finance, health and safety, and procurement, among others. It is crucial to introduce these career options to girls at a young age to spark their interest for a future in construction. National Careers Week (NCW) is an annual initiative that promotes careers guidance and provides educational resources to support young people in making informed decisions about their future paths. This week serves as a crucial opportunity to raise awareness and excitement about various career possibilities. It is during this stage in a young girl's academic journey that she should be presented with a diverse range of career options other than traditional gender roles.

Mental health and well-being are also important aspects of our approach at DRG. We understand the pressures that come with working in construction and the importance of maintaining a supportive and open environment. As a company, we actively promote mental health awareness and offer support services to our employees in house through our Mental Health First Aid champion, who is also a woman and through resources via the Lighthouse Charity and our Employee Assistance programmes. We believe in the power of open communication and encourage our team to feel safe enough to tell us if they are struggling. By fostering a culture of care and understanding, we strive to create a positive work environment where everyone can thrive.  

We take great pride in our incredibly talented and diverse workforce, and we are proud to share that women make up a significant 25% of our employees, with half of our Leadership team being women.  We have always recognised the importance of gender diversity and the multitude of skills and perspectives it brings to our company, with a mix of genders providing a different dynamic. Our team is a testament to the fact that women can excel in every area of the construction industry and play a vital role in driving our success.

I want to be a part of paving the way for a more inclusive future in the construction industry by breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, and empowering the next generation of girls to pursue their dreams in construction. Together, we can build a better, more diverse, and equal industry for all.

- Lyndsey Gregory, Group Operations Director