What will it take to for housebuilding to employ as many women as men?

Did you know, females currently make up less than 1% of the workforce on building sites?

Yes, less than 1%.

Businesses perform better with a strongly gender equal workforce and with half a million construction workers retiring in the next 15 years, now is the time for the sector to act.

Executive Chair of Robinson Manufacturing (RML), Simon Kidney is keen to drive change in what is one of the UK’s last bastions of gender inequality. The contacts he has developed in six and a half years as CEO of RML put him in the ideal place to do so.

He’s been turning ideas round for over a year with colleague Andreya Ashwell and they are now getting ready to launch consultations across the industry about plans to tackle the issues at root, bringing together everything that’s already in place and working together with partners across the sector to have relatable conversations and deliver tangible goals.

Branded Inspiring 50:50, the project plans to deliver a continuous pipeline of female candidates to help sites reflect society’s male:female balance and Simon has set some ambitious but tangible goals:

  • Working with educational and housebuilding partners to create a flagship operational site employing a 50:50 male:female ratio of trades by 2025.
  • Using the success of the flagship site as a fulcrum, develop five further sites by 2029 for regional impact

Traditional industries don’t always take well to change so this will ruffle feathers. Simon believes it will also mark those involved as visionaries unafraid to tackle challenges: “As business leaders, we can’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions about the role and importance of gender in the workplace,” he explained. “That’s the only way things will change; I’m delighted with the feedback we’ve already had and looking forward to effecting real change!”

Find out more about how Inspiring 50:50 plans to tackle these challenges, how to join the conversation to get your business involved on the ground floor and to ask us any questions about the project at www.inspiring5050.com.

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