A top leader at Bovis Homes joined a panel of women at the Ministry of Defence to discuss gender equality and highlight the company’s drive to encourage more women into the housing industry.
Supporting this year’s International Women’s Day campaign ‘Balance for Better’, the MOD hosted an event at its main building in Whitehall to celebrate the strides that have been made for women’s rights and to discuss how to continue this progression.
“It was a huge honour to have been invited to talk at the event,” says Bovis Homes Head of HR, Vicky Beckwith, who has worked in the housing industry for 10 years. “It was an excellent opportunity to share our experiences as women holding senior positions in male-dominated industries.”
Joining Vicky on the panel, was Cat Little, Director General Finance at the MOD, Director General of the Defence Safety Authority Air Vice Marshal Sue Gray, MOD Gender Champion Alison Stevenson, and Senior Vice President of Airbus Katherine Bennett CBE
“I was joined by some amazing women who have taken huge steps in their industry – most of them are the first females to have reached their position,” says Vicky. “It demonstrated how far women have progressed to be considered as equals in the workplace and we were able to reflect on the changes which have happened, even during our own careers.
“We are now in the privileged position of being at the forefront of this progress and this event allowed us to join together to discuss the challenges and explore what we can do to overcome them.”
Vicky spoke about Bovis Homes’ drive to change the perception of the housing industry and highlighted the steps the housebuilder is taking to attract females into the sector. She talked about Bovis Homes’ 100 years, 100 women event which saw colleagues from across the company discuss and debate a variety of topics relating to women in housing.
As a Silver Covenant holder, Bovis Homes works closely with the Armed Forces, and Lt Col Katie Hislop was a guest at the 100 years, 100 women event, talking about her experiences as a female within the military.
The 100 years, 100 women event
“Our 100 years, 100 women event highlighted how important education is to attract women into the construction industry,” says Vicky. “There is a certain perception of the housing industry, and we’re keen to try and change this. Over a third of our employees are women, working throughout the organisation – in our offices and out on site. We have one female regional managing director and two non-executive directors on our board, so we are championed at the very top.”
Since the 100 years, 100 women event, Bovis Homes teams are attending more career fairs to promote the variety and opportunity within the sector, helping to encourage more women.
“We’re keen to recruit the best people, regardless of background or gender. Over the past couple of years, we’ve worked hard to attract a more diverse workforce, and with a change in our culture and an improved recruitment process, we’re moving in the right direction,” says Vicky.