Women in Construction: Lynch calls on women to bridge the skills gap in the industry

While just over one in 10 of the UK construction workforce is female, women make up only one per cent of the manual trades, and the amount which make up machine operators like grab or Excavators doesn’t even register…

The perception is that construction remains a male domain, a perception reinforced by signs that read Danger: Men at Work, not Danger: People at Work.

Such not-so-subliminal messages tell women that this environment is not for them. However the percentage of the construction workforce which is female, is testament to their determination to be part of a sector that is one of the key economical drivers for the UK.

Operations Director Mark Kennedy said “as a company we have had varying levels of success with women working in the operation arm of L Lynch Plant Hire and Haulage. The success being in the haulage part of our company where apart from one male the entire sales desk is female. Our other success in Haulage is of course Donna Aston a grab driver for L Lynch who has already been awarded a Woman in Construction award whilst working on the Olympic Park construction.”

DONNA ASTON Worked within industry since 2000 stating as a road sweeper driver and moving on to grabs with Lynch in 2009. Within that time Donna has worked on Major projects with Lynch which include the Olympics, Birmingham Airport expansion, M4/5 Bristol, M25 J 23-25 and many utilities work sites for various contractors.

Donna has become one of Lynch’s most trusted employees and is always asked for by contractors for her attitude to work and safety.

Donna said “working for Lynch has given me great job opportunities, they have always helped with training, putting me forward for all additional and new enterprises.  I have never felt held back because I was a female, Lynch and the industry as a whole have always given me the same opportunities if not more during my time here with Lynch.” Donna continued “women shouldn’t be scared to enter male dominated industries, by doing so it makes it easier for others to join, there is a huge skills shortage within the industry therefore there are more opportunities than in the traditional industries woman normally enter.

Perhaps it’s not just the industry that’s at fault. Last month the Nationwide Federation of Plant and Equipment Operators surveyed parents across the country and still found a complete disconnect in regards to parents’ traditional careers advice to their children and the needs of today’s jobs market. Surprisingly most parents’ perceptions of jobs and careers have not changed since their schooldays even though some sectors have evolved and completely changed over the past 25 years.

Mark Kennedy added “Our industry needs to do more and work harder with Schools to provide more varied careers advice and broadening pupils’ career horizons by speaking to their pupils and outline a range of education or training options, including dispelling the myth that women are not for construction related jobs.”

“The future success for L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage relies on good people - whether they're male or female.”

“The idea of working with Breast Cancer Care is not just about trying to raise money for a good cause it is also to highlight the work women are doing in plant hire already and to encourage more into the industry. With the added benefit of not just having more women like Donna in the industry acceptable but the norm.”

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