It was a pity that your recent article on women in construction (10 June, pages 28-31) failed to point out the basic fact that most people working in today's construction industry use their brains, not their bare hands.
Sadly, it is true that the popular image of construction is still one of manual work and wading knee-deep in mud. This is the image we must challenge, I am sure there are also a lot of men who are put off a career in construction by this outdated idea.
I can see no point trying to convince women they will look good in a hard hat and steel toe-caps or that they could pour concrete as well as any man. Only a minority of people looking for career moves, men included, would be interested in that kind of work.
I can see a point in publishing the fact that construction is one of the few industries where literally hundreds of activities take place every day, and where no two days are the same, along with the huge satisfaction of seeing a building rise from the ground and become an object of history that will affect the lives of thousands of people. This is a benefit that can be measured and felt by men and women alike.
Of course construction is short of skills across the board but is it any wonder with such an outdated image, which your article seeks to perpetuate. In the 15 years I have been in the industry I have never met an employer who had any aversion to employing women. In fact, if you have a woman on your management team, I think you are seen as a progressive company.
As with all things in life, this subject requires common sense and hard reality. Women may have a challenge when it comes to manual work. The simple fact is that most of us aren't physically strong enough, but brains and personality makes up for that – the two ingredients essential for management. Ingredients that women and men possess in equal quantity.
Helen Hendry, senior consultant, Trett Consulting