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Raising awareness and promoting equal opportunities

On 8th March 2017, the BRE Women’s Network celebrated International Women’s Day 2017 with more than 50 men and women from across the company.

The theme was to #BeBoldForChange, to act towards forging a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world. In 2016 leaders across the world pledged to take action as champions of gender parity, not only for International Women’s Day, but for every day. Nevertheless, the World Economic Forum estimates that the gender gap will not close completely before 2186.

BRE is ahead of the game in promoting gender equality. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) reported 14% of the construction industry are women. In BRE 40% of the employees are women, with the same percentage being reported at the board level.

During our celebration we reflected on how each one of us can and have been ‘bold’ and on how we can impact within our own smaller or larger spheres of influence.

Emerging key themes included:

·         Doing our best

·         Not being afraid of failure

·         Avoiding stereotypes

·         Spreading the word about diversity

·         Making the most of opportunities

·         Using mentoring as means of inspiration and empowerment

As means to facilitate diversity, mentoring and raising awareness dominated the conversations as did flexible working and the equality of salaries and opportunities. All of the above aim to nurture a culture that welcomes and encourages people not only with different genders, but also skills and backgrounds.

Huge thanks to everyone who made the event a success. BRE’s Women’s Networks will continue to engage with BRE staff and wider industry groups to promote and champion the creation of diverse and fair working environments.

Eleni Soulti
About the Author
Eleni Soulti has a background in architectural engineering and a master’s degree in environmental design and engineering. Her working experience includes architectural engineering, sustainability consultancy and research in energy efficient technologies at the University of Cambridge. She joined BRE in 2015, as a Senior Technical Consultant of the BREEAM UK New Construction team. She is currently the commercial sector lead and aims to improve the understanding of the value that BREEAM brings to its stakeholders, in terms of environmental and financial aspects, but also with regards to health and wellbeing.

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