I was pleased to see your news item detailing Patricia Hewitt’s plans to “crack industry’s ‘men only’ culture” (29 October, page 13), although I can’t help feeling that we have been here before.
As a female engineer (who, although still in the field, is not a practising engineer), I have lost count of the number of times I have read about these kinds of initiatives. I obviously have nothing against them, as it is a subject about which I am passionate, but I can’t help feeling that we are continuing to go about this the wrong way. Persuading females to go into construction needs to start much earlier, and I would extend this education to the males – both often have a cock-eyed view of what “construction” is.
I completely agree with the comment from Clare Murdoch [business development manager at fit-out firm Parkeray] that one of the best ways to tackle the problem would be to let people hear from those who are involved, and have succeeded. We need to find a true female construction figurehead. (There are unfortunate precedents here. For example, I fear Carol Vorderman is the closest we get to a “famous clever lady” at the moment – a direct quote from a teenager I know). All of which explains why I am now writing to you from a position in marketing …
Victoria Caesar, marketing manager, Fulcrum Consulting