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WISE Knowledge Sharing Event at Mace

WISE Knowledge Sharing Event at Mace. Recruiting into Construction & Built Environment - Removing the Barriers

Recruiting into Construction & Built Environment - Removing the Barriers

15 March 2016

29 people from 16 WISE member organisations (mostly with a construction background) met to find out about barriers to entry and discussed some solutions that have provided results.

Suzy Firkin from WISE showed how language and visuals can improve a recruitment advert and the impact it has on female applications.


  • Construction will create 220,000 Jobs in the UK in the next 5 years
  • One in 10 Jobs created currently in the UK is in construction
  • Only 1.9% of graduates want to work in construction
  • 14% of engineering graduates are female
  • 33% of architects, building and planning graduates are female
  • Less young people choose engineering degrees

Learning/Take Away

  • Mace has significantly improved its female graduate intake from 13% in 2012 to 32.4% in 2015
  • At WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff the drive over the past 4 years has been to create an inclusive culture 

Both journeys show that it is a series of small steps and initiatives that really make a difference and cause ripple effects.

The workshop ended with Suzy Firkin sharing thoughts on removing bias from the recruitment process (Behavioural Science) as well as hints and tips for female friendly recruitment ads (Gendered Communication).

Read the full write-up with detailed learning points and download the presentations in the Member area.

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