It’s no secret that the construction industry has not been viewed by women as an attractive career option in the past. Reasons cited for this range from a lack of knowledge about the job options available in the sector, employment benefits that don’t support female career paths through to a fear that ‘front line’ sexism still features.

The Clarison Group can’t claim to have resolved the big issues facing the industry as a whole but is working hard to make progress on its own inclusion agenda.

Aware that women are under-represented at senior levels in the companies across the group, it is notable that the Leadership Development Programme (‘LDP’) – launched in late 2019 to develop the directors of the future – sees 5 of the 12 coveted places occupied by women in the 2022 cohort commencing their course this week.

The first cohort of 12 who completed their studies in autumn last year, had just 1 female ‘pioneer’ in Debbie Calver, HR Manager for EAG.

“The group is doing this for good business reasons, not as a social cause” states Paul Gregson, Group HR Director, “we want to attract and retain the brightest talent, and not be held back by the construction industry’s traditional struggle to appeal to women”.

The LDP, a major investment for Clarison, covers a broad range of leadership themes, including those stereotypically viewed as holding women back, such as building personal resilience.

The month of March also sees the Irish companies in the group invite students in Dublin from the local all-girls secondary school, Coláiste Bríde to hear short talks from female employees virtually, who promote the possibilities in the construction industry and share their own career/life experiences.
These initiatives aim to build long-term sustainable success for the group, though the investment may already be bearing fruit with recent promotions including Áine Hargadon into a senior Group Marketing role and Rebecca Kirkham as Group Head of Business Improvement.

“The Construction industry has so much to offer anyone who enters it. It’s challenging, diverse and rewarding. The Clarison Group’s investment in their Leadership Development Programme helps to support personal growth and provides varied career progression. I was lucky enough to attend the first Cohort” stated Debbie Calver.