As a headhunter within the Construction & Building Product industries I'm often challenged to offer breadth within shortlists. Clients are often concerned about a lack of either females or ethnic diversity within their leadership teams.  In fact I've recently completed one such assignment, whilst currently building research for two more.

A monumental challenge I and we face as an industry is that there is very little diversity moving up through constructions ranks to fill these senior roles. For example, although a rough figure, I'd suggest for these three positions I've just highlighted I've spoken with five females who're equipped to satisfy the briefs set. In total I've targeted roughly 150 people!

Through a new 10-year social equity transformation strategy, last week global construction business Multiplex challenging itself to employ woman-led teams on 10% of its projects by 2025, whilst moving to a 5-day working week on sites. Part of this will be achieved through a 50% intake in female graduates.  Ultimately they aim for this focus to lead to 30% of their executive team being made up of females and ethnic diverse individuals by 2030.

This has formed part of their longer term strategy and employer manifesto.  Being open, I am often privy to business strategies and I haven't come across this before. What a positive and forward-thinking drive this is by the contractor; well done all involved.

Some five years ago I recall listening to a headline seminar at UK Construction Week on the subject.  The panel was littered with C-suite figures from the instantly recognisable names from tier one contractors and associations.  They spoke passionately about the country's perception of the construction industry and the stigma that's attached to long hours and vulnerability to recessions.  Lots of ideas were exchanged and I left feeling buoyed that the bigger companies were driving diversity in the right direction - at that point I know too well that we needed to inject fresh talent into an industry that relied far too heavily on people who would be retiring within the next five years.  

Sadly I haven't witnessed this being wholeheartedly translated into practice since then.  I'm sure companies have attempted to develop attractive messages around the subject and courted those who've historically shied away.  The question is, can you adopt Multiplex's approach to formulating a hardened KPI approach to changing recruitment drives?  If so, I look forward to approaching a richer array of candidates within the next five years.