Event opened by Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell
The Cabinet Secretary for Communities was today a special guest at a major conference held at the university to support the future careers of women in the engineering, construction and property sectors.
Aileen Campbell MSP opened the Craiglockhart event, involving more than 60 industry and public sector organisations, which was organised by the south east Scotland City Region Deal.
The event focused specifically on increasing diversity and inclusive growth in Scotland’s fastest growing region.
Aileen Campbell said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity of speaking at this important event, and to learn first-hand about the excellent work being done to encourage more women and girls to consider careers in fields such as engineering, construction and property.
“Occupational segregation is a persistent issue and one that the Scottish Government’s Gender Pay Gap Action plan aims to address.
“It outlines a series of actions to address gender stereotyping, sexual harassment and labour market inequalities by promoting gender equality within early learning and child care, schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.
“Today’s event supports our aim of reducing the gender pay gap and sends a very positive message to industry and society that women can thrive in these industries.”
Co-organisers and speakers at the event included Hays Recruitment and Equate Scotland, and Dr Tanya Ewing, CEO of Perth-based Glaze and Save, previous winner of British Female Inventor of the Year.
Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Sean Smith, who leads the HCI City Region Deal Skills Gateway, said: “As the construction, engineering and property sectors look to support greater diversity and inclusion across the industry and public sector, and proactively encourage women’s career pathways, this event brings together industry professionals, public sector, key stakeholders and ambassadors who are committed to help achieve these aims.”
Yvonne Smyth, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Hays, said: “Although there is work to be done to address diversity and inclusion in its entirety, the construction industry has come a long way in the last few years especially with regards to gender diversity.
“It’s positive given that as a sector, construction and property has much to offer people of any gender, with healthy starting salaries and huge potential for career development.”
Organisations attending included bodies as diverse as Loreburn Housing Association, Midlothian Council, NHS National Services Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and West Lothian College.