Count her in: Learnings from International Women’s Day 2024

The essence of International Women’s Day 2024 aligns with the priority theme of the United Nations 68th Commission on the Status of Women—Count Her In. This theme delves into the pathways toward greater economic inclusion for women and girls worldwide. Despite strides made in recent years, women continue to encounter significant barriers to achieving equal participation in the economy.

Without equal access to education, employment opportunities, financial services, and literacy, the journey towards gender equality remains arduous. Women and girls must be provided with equitable opportunities to enhance their capabilities and bolster their capacity to learn, earn, and lead.

In the construction industry context, embracing the “Count Her In” principles is a moral imperative and a strategic one for progress. By investing in women and prioritising their economic empowerment, the construction sector can unlock untapped potential and drive sustainable growth.

The MC Labour team had the privilege of attending the Master Builders International Women’s Day breakfast earlier today. We are excited to share valuable insights and learnings from this inspiring session.

Advice to Women and Girls in the Construction Industry

Just Say It – Don’t Hold Your Opinions Back

As you step into the construction industry, remember the importance of speaking up. Your opinions and perspectives matter. You contribute to a more diverse and inclusive work environment by sharing your thoughts and insights. Don’t hesitate to voice your ideas and advocate for change where needed.

Count “Me” In

Demand recognition for your contributions and capabilities. You deserve to be counted and valued in the construction industry. Embrace your unique skills and talents, and ensure your voice is heard. Advocate for inclusive practices that acknowledge the value of every individual, regardless of gender. Together, we can foster a culture of belonging and collective success.

Vote with Your Feet – Choose Respectful Workplaces

You have the power to choose where you work. Don’t settle for workplaces that do not respect your rights or contributions. Seek out companies that prioritise gender equality and inclusivity. By aligning yourself with organisations that value diversity, you not only empower yourself but also contribute to the positive transformation of the industry. Your presence and influence can drive meaningful change.

Advice to the industry

Create a Sense of Belonging. Foster an Inclusive Environment

For the construction industry to thrive, it must prioritise creating a sense of belonging for all its members. This includes actively promoting diversity and inclusivity across all levels of the organisation. By embracing different perspectives and experiences, companies can foster innovation and create a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected.

Give Women Opportunities to “Count Themselves In”

Empowering women in the construction industry requires more than just lip service—it requires meaningful action. Companies should actively seek out opportunities to include women in decision-making processes, leadership roles, and high-impact projects. By providing equal opportunities for career advancement and professional development, organisations can harness the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth.

Be open to working differently

Businesses that create flexible work arrangements for women stand to benefit immensely from fostering a more inclusive and accommodating workplace culture. 

Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible hours, and job-sharing opportunities, empower women to balance their professional responsibilities with personal commitments, including caregiving and family obligations. 

By implementing such policies, businesses attract and retain top female talent and enhance employee satisfaction and productivity. Flexible work arrangements contribute to higher morale, reduced turnover rates, and increased loyalty among female employees. Moreover, by accommodating the diverse needs of their workforce, businesses cultivate a more inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and supported in achieving work-life balance. In essence, embracing flexible work arrangements for women is not just a matter of equality—it’s a strategic investment that yields tangible benefits for both employees and businesses alike.

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