Enterprising Women Awards 2019

13 February, 2019

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This year Pick Everard is the headline sponsor at the Enterprising Women Awards for the third time. Aarti Raj, director, spoke at the finalists event on Thursday (24 January), announcing the finalists in the ‘Business Woman of the Year category’.

I was incredibly proud to represent Pick Everard at the recent Enterprising Women Awards event – having won Female Employee of the Year myself last year. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the successes of women across the East Midlands and it’s a huge privilege to be involved once again.

Women in construction

At Pick Everard, we champion women’s roles in the construction industry – a sector which has traditionally been seen as a male-dominated workplace. We actively promote the construction industry as a career path for women, showcasing the variety of roles available within the sector.

In our industry, the current industry average of women in the workforce is just 13 per cent. We’re committed to changing this figure and the Enterprising Women Awards plays a significant role in driving this change in our region – inspiring the next generation of professionals – so we’re delighted to be the headline sponsor again.

Promoting our industry

During my time at Pick Everard, I have been fortunate enough to get involved in a number of different events to promote our industry to more women.

Our Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) ambassador programme has been incredibly successful over the past 12 months in highlighting the opportunities available to students who may be considering their next step. Strong leadership role models are essential in order to inspire the next generation. During the last year I have made visits to schools, colleges and universities, introducing STEM-based careers to build awareness of the opportunities within our industry.

The students are always incredibly engaged and are keen to learn more, often surprised by how many jobs there are in the construction industry – with a common misconception being that roles are limited to those the public can see on construction sites.

Pick Everard has also hosted a series of events to help build a network and promote women in business.

I was part of hosting an event which looked at gender imbalance and the problems this has caused over the years – because it’s not just an issue for women, it’s an issue for everyone. We brought together professionals from across the Midlands’ construction and property industry, as well as colleges and universities to discuss why female representation is so low and what action can be taken.

During this event I discussed my time in Australia, where the percentage of women in the industry seems to be much more equal. This highlighted that, although gender imbalance in the workforce is not unique, it is an area of particular concern in the UK.

The Enterprising Women Awards

The Enterprising Women Awards has been inspiring and celebrating the achievements of women in the East Midlands for 23 years. Winning last year gave me a fantastic opportunity to expand my network which in turn raised my profile – which can go a long way in building your confidence.

Together, we are developing a truly collaborative business community here in the East Midlands, working together to support one another and encourage further positive action. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter the awards this year, reading everyone’s stories was a truly humbling experience.

I’d also like to congratulate Emma Brealey, Monica Huang, Shelia Taylor, Helen Johnson and Kim Morgan – who have been shortlisted in the Business Woman of the Year category. Congratulations – and good luck – to the HR team at Pick Everard on their shortlisting in the Team of the Year category.

I look forward to celebrating with everyone on 8 March.

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