In a massive session, an entire Year 8 group gave their ideas on how we can tackle the gender gap in industry.

This month, we delivered our Not Just for the Boys session at Willowfield School to the entirety of their Year 8 cohort, supported by a group of female industry professionals.

Recent statistics by GMB Union have shown that only a shocking one in eight construction workers are women. At Construction Youth Trust, we are passionate about creating opportunities for young people facing the biggest career barriers.

“You’ve got to be able to see it to want to be it! Seeing somebody doing a job that you might not have thought about is really important, especially at school age because that’s the age that you form all these ideas about what women do and what men do. Seeing women in jobs that are predominantly male might be something girls draw back on later in life.” - Sam, a volunteer

The Not Just for the Boys session sees us take the gender debate into schools and engage with students about why the gender gap exists in the construction industry, and how we can dismantle the damaging stereotypes that are preventing more women from entering construction careers.

It was really encouraging to see both male and female students presenting forward-thinking ideas of diversity and inclusion, which they presented at the end of the session to the impressed volunteers!

“The chance to give young people the opportunity to put forward views, have them challenged by their peers, listen to each other and form an argument – that whole process was the best part.” - Megan, a volunteer

We know that exposing young people to relatable models at an early stage can help dismantle damaging preconceptions about the sector. The session is a fantastic opportunity for students interact with successful women in industry, inspiring them to consider careers that they may not have been exposed to otherwise.