What do Ray O'Rourke's view of women in construction and Multiplex's views on how to work with subcontractors have in common?

Both are the result of attitudes held by many senior people in our industry - people who became successful when they were part of the accepted culture. Of course, they seem obvious and correct when that is the basis of your successful career.

However, there is overwhelming evidence of the benefits of dealing with these issues differently: without exception, the women I have had dealings with in construction have been better than their male peers; also without exception, those projects I have worked on where there are modern methods of procurement have been more successful, especially when responding to unforeseen problems.

To bring real and beneficial change in both of these areas we need those who run our contractors to open their minds and pursue the alternative with real energy and belief.

Ron Edmondson, the Oldbury Partnership