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Gender Balance Initiative

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Why do we need greater Gender Balance in Major Projects?

The proportion of women in major projects has not changed much in the past decade. Whilst companies might well be recruiting significant numbers of women at apprentice and graduate level they are not staying in great numbers; they are not getting involved in major projects; and are not achieving leadership positions. This is a problem.

The pipeline of major projects which the UK Government (alone) wish to deliver in the next decade requires 100,000 new entrants into this business. The global demand for experienced project delivery people is in the tens of millions between now and 2020. If we only recruit from our traditional sources we will fail to deliver these projects. We must try harder to recruit and retain female talent.

Even without the skills shortages we should be trying harder to engage women in our companies. All of the evidence from KPMG, McKinsey & Co, Grant Thornton, to name but a few, says that increasing the number of women on Boards and executive teams leads to greater creativity, improved problem solving, better decision making and a better bottom line.

The Major Projects Association has recognised that our members are struggling with this issue. Some find it easy to recruit but to find it difficult to retain female talent - others have different problems. We aim to provide support for our members through the following activities:

We invite you to join us in this journey by signing up to the initiative, working with WISE to help identify helpful steps and sharing your own lessons. To learn more about how to sign up please email Manon Bradley via