Having provided hundreds of jobs for women in my company over a period of 30 years, I was disappointed to read the comments from Sarah Bourne in last week’s Building.

It may be a matter of “if you don't like the message shoot the messenger”. Unfortunately your editor felt it appropriate to join the firing squad.

It may have been frivolous of me to pass on to your readers the reason given by my female colleague for women not wishing to work on construction sites as the effect it may have on their nails. However, in my view, most women perceive construction sites as noisy, dirty and dangerous and much prefer to seek work in what they consider to be a more pleasant environment.

It is counter-productive to go on peddling the stereotypical and outdated argument that women suffer from discrimination in the industry. That battle was won a long time ago. What the industry needs to do if it is to attract entrants from the largely untapped pool of female talent is to undertake a complete makeover of its image. This should start at schools and universities where opinions are formed. It will however involve a great deal of time, effort and money if a change in the industry's image is to be achieved.

Roger Knowles, chairman, James R Knowles