Skanska named world’s most female-friendly contractor

By Leila Steed30 November 2021

Demolition skills shortage - women According to United Kingdom Office for National Statistics figures, women account for only 12% of people employed in the construction industry

Skanska Group has been named the most female-friendly construction company in the world by Forbes magazine.

While the company came in at number four on the publication’s World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies list, it was ranked number one out of the 300 construction and development firms looked at by the magazine.

“We’re delighted and honoured to be recognised in this way,” said Executive Vice President and Womxn’s Network executive sponsor, Katy Dowding.

“It’s an important step on Skanska’s continuous journey towards meaningful inclusion and diversity”.

According to Skanska, Forbes’ rankings were based on independent surveys of 85,000 women in 40 countries and also took into account the representation of women at executive and board level.

“Respondents were invited to rate their employer on criteria such as pay equality and parental leave.” said Skanska.

“They were also asked how their company’s marketing messages either promote gender quality or perpetuate negative stereotypes.”

Swati Paul Skanska UK Executive Vice President Swati Paul, the former General Counsel and Company Secretary for London Luton Airport, was appointed as Skanska UK’s Executive Vice President earlier this year.

In addition to three of Skanska UK’s seven-strong executive management team being women, the division also operates a flexible-working framework that aims to change the traditional working hours inherent in the construction sector. 

The company’s UK business, which recently won the Most Innovative Contractor award at the Building Innovation Awards 2021, also incorporates the employee-led Womxn’s Network, which is “actively involved in a range of issues to create a more female-friendly workplace”.

Its activities include promoting PPE equipment that is appropriate in size and fit for women (including maternity wear) and raising awareness of the impact of the menopause on women’s health and wellbeing. 

Speaking of the company’s Forbes ranking, Christina Kio-Bennett, Womxn’s Network lead, said, “The recognition shows the progress at Group level. Here at Skanska UK, we are committed to working on even further progress as identified by our employee-led network and feedback from a recent research study conducted with employees to understand their lived experience.”

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