The Institute of Technology Sligo (IT Sligo) has established the Female Student Network initiative which aims to promote construction-related programmes to females.
The initiative comes at a time whenthere are significant shortages of graduates from construction-related programmes, according to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), and only 1 in 10 employees are female. The CIF has highlighted that it will be challenging to ensure an adequate supply of graduates to satisfy a growing demand over the next few decades, given that 112,000 additional construction workers will be required.
Trevor McSharry, Head of Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, said:
“With improving health and safety, the use of digital technologies and a focus on collaboration and sustainability, I think a lot of females are now considering construction-related programmes as the sector evolves. Improving gender balance within the construction sector is a key priority for all national bodies, not only to address skill shortages, but also to improve team diversity, inclusion and overall performance. We offer a broad range of full-time programmes including civil engineering, quantity surveying and construction project management and applied technology.”
Lisa Brennan, who was recently recruited from the construction industry as a lecturer, leads the newly established student female network initiative said: “By implementing our networking initiative and providing an all rounded experience for female students, we can increase the appeal for females to study construction related programmes at IT Sligo. This will ultimately help grow the number of graduates from third level and help improve diversity.”
IT Sligo have put in place monthly discussion groups held between female students across the programmes, both full time and online. Presentations from industry-based female guest speakers will also be organised. Regional school engagement will be set up to promote programmes, especially to female students, to increase the awareness of the range of careers available.