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BE:Global: insights from our world leading women

An evening reception for women (and men) within the built environment looking to uncover the secrets of International success.

14th November, IET Savoy Place 18:30-21:30. FREE registration. 3hr CPD.


By 2030 (just 13 years away!), our global construction market is expected to have grown to $15.5 trillion, and account for approximately 14.% of all global economic output1.

1 Where in the world Answers in the comments please BEGlobal cLim Ashley

Leading the way will be the economies of China, the US and India which together account for 57% of the growth.  The UK is also to fare well and is predicted to overtake Germany; becoming Europe’s biggest and the world’s sixth largest construction market1.

Rapid urbanisation and the advancement of the tech. industries are key drivers. Demands for major infrastructure, new homes and associated amenity must be met. Not only that, but digitisation and automation (think BIM, think 3d printing, think MMC etc.) are set to bring some desperately needed efficiency to the way we communicate and produce.

It is unsurprising that many built environment companies have ambitious International growth strategies.  Expatriate secondments, place based projects and relocation packages are becoming more common place as organisations claim their footholds.  And what with a laptop and an internet connection being all that is needed for many to work (and live) around the world in ways not seen before, there could be exciting times ahead.

Now you may already know that women within the construction industry are an endangered species.  The percentage representation differs by sub-sector (9% in engineering and around 35% in planning) however the average is about 14% with even sadder ratios seen on senior boards 2.3.  There are thought to be a number of reasons for these statistics starting from a lack of career awareness and / or gender role stereotyping in schools (i.e. girls don’t work in construction), moving into women taking time out to have children and inflexible working policies, through to self selecting boys clubs.

We’re not the only country to have such low female representation however. Global diversity within the built environment sector is poor.  Australia, Japan, Canada and the US are all report similar numbers (15.9%, 15%, 11.7% and 9% respectively)4.


2 Where in the world BEGlobal cTahir Hashmir

A few things now spring to mind. What with the global skills shortages, could we be at risk of meeting the expected demand and our full potential? Probably yes, and so what do we do about it? Also, what with the current lack of diverse leadership, will we see the next decade bring more of the same for women and other minority groups, or something better? Some big industry questions.

However, it does stand to reason that the levels of growth have the potential to bring fantastic opportunities for some.  Opportunities for career development, for personal growth and for the diversification that this industry desperately needs.  But of course there will undoubtedly be a number of challenges.  How will these differ for women and men?  Most will play out in similar way for sure, but women wanting to engage on the global platform may find themselves having to consider variances in cultural practices, salaries and general expectations differently.

If you find yourself pondering these same questions, answering them or forming others in your mind…then we’d love you to come and join us on the 14th November at the IET, Savoy Place for an evening reception that will explore these issues.

Hosted and chaired by BRE’s CEO Dr Peter Bonfield OBE FREng, in discussion with RICS president, and CBRE’s head of strategic consulting and UK board member Amanda Clack, and past IET president, broadcasting and comms engineer Naomi ClimerMelanie De Wet, Associate Director at WSP, Development and Member of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, and Maya Naasani award-winner Commercial Consultant and Economist, this will be a must attend for anyone wanting to uncover the secrets of International success.


This free to attend event is open to all built environment professionals (women and men)  – book yourself on here.

And do send through any of your thoughts, questions or sponsorship enquiries directly to BRE’ s Women’s Network at [email protected] or post your comments below.


Many thanks to our partners at:

And to our supporters:


The IET Women’s Network

Women in Planning

Women’s Engineering Society

The Urbanistas


  1. Global Construction 2030. (2015). Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics’.
  2. A Blueprint for Change.(2016). CIC Diversity Panel.
  3. English planning in crisis: 10 steps to a sustainable future (2016). H.Ellis. K . Henderson.
  4. Women in Male-Dominated Industries And Occupations. (2017). Catalyst.