ISG’s Zoe Price: The key to rebalancing our industry is getting more women into senior roles
ISG’s chief operating officer for UK construction, Zoe Price, spoke to the CIOB’s Construction Management magazine about the impacts Covid has had on women in construction. The full feature article can be found here, but in summary:-
A new era of work / life balance
Remote working gave us all an insight into other people’s lives. We understood how everyone is trying to balance work and family, and I think people in the industry have become more emotionally intelligent as a result, and more considerate about the challenges people face outside of work.
I also think it’s important to show, at a senior level, that we’re balancing our parental responsibilities with work. That then cascades down through the company and normalises this behaviour. From my own experience, we are both involved as parents, but when you have a young family, as a woman, pre-pandemic, you definitely would feel there was more pressure to compromise on work.
ISG now has an official hybrid working policy. There is no minimum number of days you have to be in the office. Flexibility in site roles is more of a challenge but we are running pilot projects to help us understand what’s important to people on those teams: how we can get the best out of them and how they can give their best. It’s all about understanding and balancing individual needs and looking afresh at site roles with an open mind. The feedback is positive. The idea is to move away from having rigid rules on site hours and be flexible where we can be.
Ultimately, the key to changing attitudes towards women in this industry is getting more women into senior roles. The new talent is coming through – 37% of ISG’s intake this year is female, graduates and apprentices – what we also need are more female role models for them to aspire to.