Sunday, 14 June 2015

A few thoughts.....BIM and altering our Industry

As a young (ish) person in Construction, female and sitting in a very small minority group of independent consultants I find myself constantly wondering why the perception of our industry and the same themes continually arise. I previously worked with a clear group of people, diverse, young and vibrant when part of the BIM2050 team and I learnt a few things about myself and others when involved in this team. I learnt that we all continually change, that we all continually want to address important issues in Construction and above all that we were all passionate about making this industry a better one.

Having removed myself from practice, I now work with teams across the board, from Architects to Contractors, Secondary schools and training boards and clients I am finding that I can see a very clear distinction about what everybody believes the truth is and what it actually is! I work with kids, with CEO's, with technicians and designers. I work with all types of people which allows me to learn from them. Especially the young. The truth is that as much as we can all discuss change, technology and BIM, we need people from all areas to help us to promote and share this. 

There are a few themes here that I would like to therefore touch upon. 

Firstly- Women in BIM. Yes, I Created a group. Yes I am passionate about seeing women in senior roles. But, by no means is it about drawing young women into these roles! The facts are that we have plenty of young women enrolling daily in Construction related roles (even more in fact than men in some courses) so there is no problem here. Children and young adults will have a passion for a career which will ultimately force them to select those degrees and in turn become those types of professionals. We worked hard as part of BIM2050 to understand where the numbers were lacking and it was certainly not at the younger end. 

Unfortunately, through no reason or fault of our own, the issue is about retaining female professionals in Construction. 

Having worked closely with people in the UK in Australia and in the US I have to say that in my opinion, that the UK is the furthest behind when it comes to a diverse construction industry. I am saying this because we need to change it and I am currently looking at campaigns and ideas to do so with help from friends (but i need more help!). I still need to survive, eat and sleep so I can only allocate a certain number of hours a day to this cause. 

Another area I need to discuss is that those who are helping industry grow, the usual BIM suspects in the UK, I need you to get out there too and support this. It isn't about women moaning about why there aren't enough of us in these roles.... Its about us trying to work hard and grow a diverse and healthy space for us in industry, its not only about BIM, the issue is much much larger. If we don't address this we'll fail at growing a healthy and happy industry which will thrive on diverse and varied leaders. 

Another point I would like to touch on  is that even though we are utilising technology …yes its changing how we work, helping us to achieve better results ..blah blah blah..we've heard it all before. What we are neglecting to remember is that there are still only a small number of people who will lead this. Leaders and managers are one minority. Here in this miniority …and in particular in the BIM / Tech space….the number of young women, or women in general is even smaller.  

The solution is not black and white. It is something we need to address, change and grow from and acknowledge that without help it will not and cannot be achieved. 

So I guess with this, I leave the question open and I ask you to share and help me to try to change our industry just slightly for the better because if we don't start addressing this now we'll not see positive results moving forward. 

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