Recruitment firms operating in male dominated fields can help to address the gender imbalance by demonstrating clearer career progression and providing requisite training, which will attract more female professionals according to One Way.

The specialist construction and rail recruiter, which has received praise for speaking out about the need to address the gender imbalance in construction, has highlighted that a lack of training and structured promotion opportunities might be what is preventing many high-reaching female professionals from entering the field. There are currently over 265,000 women working in construction, and statistics suggest that female professionals will make up 26% of the workforce by 2020.

Emma Davis, Associate Director at One Way, is one such example of a female recruiter who had originally been deterred by a lack of career structure. She explains:

“When I began my career in construction recruitment I struggled as I didn’t have access to training that would not only help me perfect my hiring skills, but also my knowledge of the construction industry. When you add this to a lack of obvious career progression, it might come as no surprise that I was put off construction recruitment in general.”

“However, following some persuasion from a rec-to-rec hirer, I went for an interview with One Way and was instantly put back on track. After meeting with the managing director it was clear that the company really valued its team members and would put me through the necessary recruitment and construction training.”

Since joining the firm as a trainee eight years ago, Emma has worked her way up to Associate Director, successfully opening and expanding an office in Greater London and developing her own team.

Paul Payne, Managing Director of One Way, says this of the topical issue:

“If firms want to increase diversity in their company they need to review their training and development opportunities to ensure they appeal to everyone. Stories like Emma’s are quite common in recruitment, but for firms operating in male dominated industries, attracting some of the best female recruiters will only be made all the more difficult if they cannot demonstrate the potential to develop a career in their business and the support they will offer to help staff achieve this.”

We have a long way to go for the problem of gender inequality in fields such as construction to be solved, but this new idea and initiative will help forward-thinking companies such as One Way to advance their involvement of female professionals further.

Shara has been active in the scientific community for over 30 years. She started as a member of the British Association of Young Scientists at the age of 15, obtained her first science degree at 21 and her Immunology PhD at 25. She has been a research scientist and lecturer in prestigious institutions around the world [including Addenbrookes' Hospital (Cambridge), The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology (London), The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) and The Royal Postgraduate Medical School (London)]. Shara left mainstream in 2001 research to follow her passion of science communication and established Euroscicon Ltd in 2001 and Mums in Science in 2005

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