WiP college site tour aims to get more young women thinking about construction careers

Beard invited members of the Association of Women in Property (WiP) for a sneak-preview of the new Performing Arts Centre the company is building at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire. Year 10 students (ages 14-15) from The Holt School, Wokingham and King’s International College, Camberley, as well as pupils from Wellington College also joined the group for a tour of the £12 million state-of-the-art facility which has a 1,400-spectator standing capacity. The project is due for completion the summer of this year. The tour was arranged by our firm in partnership with WiP and ISSP based at Wellington College.

The event included a walk-through of the College’s historical buildings followed by a networking lunch where the school students were able to meet with construction professionals and learn more about opportunities for young people, particularly women, in the industry.

“We were delighted to show WiP and the students around this fantastic new Performing Arts Centre that we’re building. Beard is extremely supportive of the great work WiP does to encourage more women into construction careers,” says Amanda Cassar, Beard business development advisor who organised the tour. “Involving young people in events like this brings classroom learning to life in a way that we hope will inspire more young people – especially women – into our industry. We want them to know that construction offers fantastic career opportunities in many different disciplines.”

The new 2,580m2 round timber-clad Performing Arts Centre will become the hub of the college’s new Cultural Quarter, housing a theatre and concert hall, dance and recording studios, and music practice rooms. The space between the College’s existing Christopher Lee theatre and the new auditorium will become a ‘cultural living room’ looking out on to the surrounding forest and creating a public square.

Only 15% of construction workforce are women

Established in 1987, WiP is committed to increasing the number of women in the property and construction industry and to ensuring that there are no glass ceilings impeding the progress of those already working in the sector. Although great strides have been made, women still account for only 15 percent of the workforce.

Marcia Gillings, chairman of Women in Property South East, says: “This is exactly the sort of ‘real life’ activity which inspires young people to consider a career in the built environment. Women in Property has an education programme which includes competitions, school visits and the National Student Awards, all of which illustrate just how exciting, challenging and rewarding this sector is. I’d like to thank Beard and Wellington College both for their hospitality and commitment.”

“The WiP event was a fantastic opportunity for Wellington College and ISSP Partnership students to visit the Performing Arts Centre and spend some time talking to construction professionals,” says Sur Parker, ISSP Partnership coordinator based at Wellington College. “The advice and guidance given about opportunities in the construction industry was invaluable and the students hugely benefited from this experience.”


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