LETTER:Sex, survival and construction firms

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The Independent Online
From Ms Sandi Rhys Jones

Sir: The balance between arguing the moral case and the economic case for equal opportunities depends very much on the nature of the business being addressed (Letters, 9 November). The recent government/industry review of the construction industry carried out by Sir Michael Latham calls for a reduction in real costs of 30 per cent and an increase in the number of women. A tall order for a male-dominated industry battered by recession.

The moral imperative is hardly foremost in the minds of those companies struggling to survive - and there is legislation in place to deal with that issue. Therefore the working group set up in response to the Latham Review to improve equal opportunities in the industry has focused on the business case, because it is the most persuasive and constructive argument for change.

To survive, the construction industry must change to attract and retain the best people for the job. The benefits will be for men, women, the industry and the clients it serves.

Our initiatives are gender-led, not gender specific.

Yours sincerely,

Sandi Rhys Jones


Construction Industry Board

London, WC1

14 November