We would like to extend our thanks to the female executives from the Property and Construction (P&C) industry who took the time to attend our recent roundtable lunch, in partnership with Homes for Scotland and its illustrious CEO, Nicola Barclay.
The key theme for the day was attracting and retaining talent in the P&C sector, with a focus on diversity in leadership, critical skills gaps and driving cultural change. The conversation was broad and participation high. It was fantastic to hear how different organisations are approaching and encouraging flexible working, planning for the future and engaging with schools and universities to promote the sector to younger generations.
It is well-documented that diversity is a key issue in P&C, and we suspect this will be an ongoing challenge for some time. Where real change seems to be taking effect and having measurable success, the initiatives are being driven and led by the board and senior leadership teams and being reinforced at every level. It was encouraging to hear that progress is being made, with foundations for change being set in many organisations.
The subject of ‘transferable skills’ was also high on the agenda on which topic an interesting debate ensued on attracting cross-industry talent and experience versus promoting from within. It was felt, particularly within Corporate functions, that there was significant opportunity and benefit to be gained in attracting new talent and offering specific industry training thereby enabling a more seamless sector transition. Especially within senior corporate functions, the view was that by taking advantage of changing economic conditions, individuals who may be looking for a change of direction may be tempted by a new sector that would welcome and make good use of some excellent transferable skill sets.
The key challenge is in mobilising these initiatives and ensuring practical support is provided by HR and leadership teams, as well as having the appropriate tools and infrastructure embedded to underpin this significant shift in approach.
This was the first in what we hope will become a successful series of productive and informative conversations and we very much look forward to exploring these topics, and others, in greater detail over the course of the year. If you are interested in joining our P&C network, please contact Nick Broadley, [email protected] or Sara Harrison, [email protected] 01413757333.