Throughout this week, we are speaking to female colleagues from across the Network Plus Group to showcase what they do, and highlight the different career paths and their advice for anyone considering the industry, as part of Women in Construction Week.
Today, for International Women’s Day, we’re looking at what the business has been doing to support women over the last 12 months.
Supporting gender equality all year round
Throughout the year we are working hard behind the scenes to address the balance, attract more diversity into our workforce, and lay foundations of support for women who already work for us.
Over the last twelve months we have made great progress in this arena, through a number of key initiatives such as, Women in Network Plus, Career Challenge, and the Menopause Support Group.
Women in Network Plus
Launched June 2022, this group now has almost 200 members, and is continuing to grow.
To date, we have hosted:
- 2 physical events
- 1 virtual year-end session
- 7 virtual “Lunch & Learn” sessions on a range of topics
And additionally launched the following:
- Mentorship Programme
- New Menopause Policy
- Improved Maternity Pay Policy
- Menopause Support Group and other subgroups
- Women in Network Plus Career Challenge
And our latest triumph is working with the procurement team to source new and improved PPE for women. The new gear provides a much better fit, reliable size guide and warmth for when they need it most – and those who have tried it are over the moon! There’s even now maternity wear available.
Menopause Support Group
For World Menopause Day 2022, we launched the new Network Plus Group Menopause Policy and a company wide Menopause Support Group.
The group has been set up to provide a safe and supportive space to talk about your menopause journey, share thoughts and experiences, to better support each other. It is an open and honest group, without judgement.
We kicked off 2023 by launching the Women in Network Plus Career Challenge which saw our guest speaker Helen Miles of Severn Trent setting at some goals:
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Connect with others
- Leadership is not exclusive
- Add value
Five colleagues have accepted the challenge and will be presenting at our next event.
This is what some of them have had to say about it:
“Being part of WiN+ has given me the confidence to push myself out of my comfort zone and towards a new direction. Without the encouragement of WiN+ I wouldn’t have considered challenging myself into a new role.”Sharon Purcell, Streetworks Administrator
“After hearing Helen Miles and my mentor emphasise that you don’t need a direct career plan, it made me want to focus on being the best at what I currently do, rather than overthinking what the next steps are. By focusing and developing in the 4 main areas of the challenge, I feel that I will be making the right steps for my career development. Having the self-awareness that this challenge forces you to look at in turn leads to working to the best of our ability.”Sian Morris, Financial Accountant
“The whole concept makes me feel uncomfortable i.e. public speaking and discussing myself. However, I know I won’t develop or progress effectively if I don’t allow myself to feel uncomfortable. Doing the challenge forces me to do so and I knew I couldn’t back out once I agreed to it.”Eve Leary, HR Advisor
“I was inspired by Helen Miles speech at the meeting.
I’ve also just started a 8 week training course in Gas and heating. This is a dream of mine and with the help of Chris Wilson and Victoria Grayson ( Gary Marsden, Matt aiello and Chris Bond have all been supporting me ) this is all now happening.
I thought by the time that the challenge comes around I would have a lot to share.
Also this will put me out of my comfort zone but I really appreciate the help and support in receiving so much I think it’s only fair to share my development.”Kirsty Bagshaw, Customer Liaison Officer