International Women’s Day | Women in Construction

International Women’s Day | Women in Construction

International Women's Day 2023

Every year the world comes together to support International Women’s Day. It is a global day celebrating the achievements of women, spreading awareness of current issues and working towards an equal and inclusive world for all. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity. It is important to remember that gender equity is not a fight for women alone, allies are essential to further the cause and see real change in our society.

“Equality is giving everyone a shoe. Equity is giving everyone a shoe that fits.” – Susan K Gardner

At Gleave, we believe that all women belong in every corner of the construction industry. We spoke to our colleagues Charlotte Welch and Fiona Waite about the importance of International Women’s Day and their experiences working in the construction industry.

Charlotte Welch is one of our Senior CDM Advisors with an extensive experience in the construction industry. While she is extremely proud to work in this industry, it also has its challenges. From working on site full time to now working for the client in a CDM management team, she has witnessed and been party to discrimination in the workplace. However, she points out how she has seen change and improvement in the industry over the years.

Days like International Women’s Day are so important to keep the momentum of positive change and accountability for all to do better. We can all challenge gender stereotypes, draw attention to bias, call out discrimination, and seek out inclusion.

Fiona Waite is one of our Project Managers and like Charlotte, she is proud to be a woman working in the construction industry. While there are challenges, Fiona is excited to see expectations and standards being challenged and more inclusive and accommodating workplaces being adapted for all.

“I have a lot of respect for the company, site and industry leaders who are paving the way for change” - Fiona Waite

Questions & Answers

What does International Women's Day mean to you?

Charlotte: It is great to have a day to recognise all the amazing women in this world! International Women's Day is to me an iconic day and a great reminder of what women before us fought for and achieved, regardless of the consequences. We have come a long way, but we still have far to go.

Fiona: I think that International Women's Day is a great way to highlight the amazing women in our industry and demonstrate equity in reality, even if often these examples are the minority.


How do you think the construction industry can improve to #EmbraceEquity?

Charlotte: I believe management teams need to call out any members of staff who are being disrespectful towards women directly or indirectly. We all have a duty to stop our friends or colleagues from talking derogatorily to and about women, we need to take control and take a stand otherwise it will not change. I also believe the industry needs to show more women and girls that there is more to construction than meets the eye, most days it is a great industry to be in, and for me, it has been an interesting journey and one where I am always learning.

Fiona: I think equity in construction often is more about access and accommodation than anything else. Most people I have met in construction have open expectations about women in all roles and are accepting of all. However, sometimes the physical accommodation for women is lacking on sites, for example, access to clean gender-separate toilets and well-fitting and comfortable PPE. To improve equity in construction women need to feel like their presence on site is standard, not an exception.


Do you feel that Gleave embraces gender equality?

Charlotte: Yes, 100%. It isn’t even a thought or a factor within the company. Gleave is by far the best company I have worked for in terms of encouraging their employees to do their best and follow their passion no matter what gender they are. I personally feel Gleave embraces the power that women bring to the company and the construction industry, it is a refreshing change to work for a team of directors and managers who treat you as an individual and not just a number.

Fiona: I don’t think gender is a factor at Gleave. We are all hard-working, intelligent individuals who work to simplify and solve our client's needs. Gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, age, politics, and background are recognised as these make us who we are, but they are not factors which signify or limit our abilities. We recognise all of our employee's passions and abilities as it is our people who make Gleave.



Gleave QS