Building Crossrail? That’s women’s work

News Stories 17-03-2014

Hard hats? Check. Hi-vis jackets? Check. Short back and sides? Er …

Meet Crossrail’s engineers, a group of women the firm hopes will put paid to the stereotype of construction being a man’s world.

Almost a third of Crossrail Ltd’s jobs are filled by women, compared with only 20 per cent in the construction industry as a whole.

Crossrail is particularly hoping to increase the number of engineers who are women. In the UK, that figure stands at only 8.5 per cent — the lowest in the whole of Europe.

Ailie MacAdam is responsible for delivering new tunnels and stations in central London and Docklands as part of the £14.8billion project. She said more needs to be done in schools to encourage girls to go into construction. “Over the next 10 years we need to double the number of people with engineering qualifications to meet the demand for skills,” she said.

“To achieve that, more must be done to attract and retain young women to what is a fabulous and rewarding career. Crossrail and its contractors regularly visit London schools to inspire the next generation of construction workers and engineers. But a joint effort is needed between schools, parents, government and industry to encourage more young people, including women, to pursue a construction and engineering career.”

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