Sizewell C encourages more women into the construction sector – agreement announced in Suffolk

By Marjorie Barnes | Published on 7 March 2022 | 6 min read

Sizewell C is marking International Women’s Day by joining Women into Construction (WiC), an independent organisation that promotes gender equality in construction.

Announcing the membership in Suffolk at a special event to mark International Women’s Day at The Hold in Ipswich, Dr Sarah Williamson, Sizewell C Civil Programme Director, said: “We have to be the change we want to see that is why Sizewell C has committed to recruit 40% women into the business and is working with culture changing organisations like Women into Construction to promote gender equality.”

Kath Moore, MBE, Managing Director Women into Construction, said: “We are delighted to continue our work with Sizewell C who have supported WiC on our recent programme in Suffolk and Norfolk and who now join us as Gold Members. WiC supports their aim to create a diverse, local workforce for the Sizewell C programme and we look forward to our continued partnership with them to change the face of construction.”

The event on Tuesday which is taking place in the Suffolk archive flagship building The Hold, situated adjacent to the Ipswich Waterfront, aims to raise the aspirations of women at all stages of life and careers. Dr Sarah Williamson and other inspiring keynote speakers will share their personal experiences and offer powerful advice on how women can fulfil their potential in business.

Following eight years of public consultation the planning inspectorate has submitted a recommendation to the Secretary of State for the planning application for Sizewell C and a decision is expected on May 25.

About Sizewell C
Sizewell C is the new power station planned to be built next to Sizewell B. The station would deliver low carbon power for 6million homes reducing dependence on polluting fossil fuels. The station is a once in a generation opportunity for East Suffolk and will help the local economy to recover after Covid. At least £125m will be spent in the local community each year during construction, and at peak construction around 2,600 workers (a third of the workforce on site) are expected to come from the local area. Once operational, Sizewell C is expected to contribute £40m a year to the local economy and the power station will employ 900 people in high-skilled, well-paid jobs. Furthermore, The Deed of Obligation sets out a £250mn package covering areas such as education and skills, from the start of construction to ensure that local people benefit as much as possible from the opportunities presented by the project and that the impacts of construction are minimised.

About the event 
This free event, hosted by four partner organisations in Suffolk, aims to raise the aspirations of women at all stages of life and careers.
Inspiring keynote speakers will share their personal experiences and offer powerful advice on how to fulfil your potential as a woman in business.
This exclusive IWD event is taking place in the amazing Suffolk archive flagship building The Hold, situated adjacent to the Ipswich Waterfront and attendees will also be able to view the new exhibition ‘Women don’t do such things!’.
The event is set to offer a legacy of support through shared experiences and connections with The University of Suffolk, Suffolk, Chamber of Commerce, The EpiCentre Haverhill, The Hold, Ipswich and event participants.

Babita Devi – Innovation Director of bStrategic, Strategy Coach at the Judge Business School , Cambridge University and Innovation Director for Oxford Innovation
Dr Sarah Williamson – Laing O’Rourke Technical Director for nuclear and Civil Programme Director for Sizewell C
Daniella Lord – Positive Action Recruitment Advisor (Suffolk Constabulary) and Vice-Chair of the Suffolk Ethnic Police Association (ESPA)
Cassie McMaster – Co-founder of leep impact. Cassie holds a masters in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge and has worked extensively in women’s policy issues in the USA and abroad
Dr Belinda Board – Founding CEO of Peoplewise, a global business psychology consultancy with hubs in Singapore and the US and headquartered in London
Dr Sarah Williamson – Sarah is the Civil Programme Director for Sizewell C, led the civil works programme for Hinkley Point C and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers with 25 years industry experience. Sarah is passionate about driving change in the construction industry.

Women into Construction
Women into Construction (WiC) is an independent not-for-profit organisation promoting gender equality in construction with the mission to change the face of construction.   WiC provides bespoke support to women wishing to work in the construction industry and assists contractors in recruiting, retaining and progressing female talent, helping to reduce skills gaps and create a more gender-equal workforce.
Less than 15% of the entire workforce in the UK construction industry is represented by women, and in trade roles, that reduces to less than 1%. The construction industry faces an uncertain future in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit but CIT scenarios show a recovery in UK construction output and a growth of 4.4%, requiring an additional 217,000 workers by 2025. Infrastructure and housing growth are expected to be key drivers for recovery. In the short term, however construction companies are likely to see a drop in recruitment of new workers, apprentices and a focus on retention and retraining of existing staff.
In order to weather the storm and build resilient businesses for the future, companies need to widen the talent pool, bring new skills and diversity into their businesses. By encouraging a wider range of people into the industry – and welcoming them when they get here – the industry will benefit from better solutions, more collaborative teams, and stronger businesses. And we here at WiC are dedicated to working with you to make that happen.
Now, more than ever, construction as an industry needs to support more Women into Construction and help them add value to your business.
In the 13 years since its inception, Women into Construction (WiC) has given construction related career advice to more than 3,500 women, provided training to 2,500 and placed more than 950 into employment. Our Social Return on Investment Report demonstrated that for every £1 spent with WiC, we generate up to £6 in social value.  WiC works across the UK with Project Managers based in London, Birmingham, Cambridge and Essex and a virtual offering for other locations across the country including Norfolk.

Tagged with: Announcement, Construction, Womens Day
Posted by Marjorie Barnes

The Sizewell C comms team brings you news, updates, blogs and information on the Sizewell C project.