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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 12 July 2020

Mentoring, job ads, flexible working: how to make civil engineering more appealing to talented women

The Guardian reported this week that of the 83,000 civil engineers in the UK, only 12% are women. This is in stark contrast to eastern europe where, notes Yvonne Murphy chair of ICE Wales Cymru, around 50% of engineers are female.

While the number of women studying civil engineering in the UK has risen in recent years, many within the industry recognise the need for urgent change if talented women are to be convinced that a career in civil engineering is for them.

In an attempt to change the civil engineering industry for the better, some businesses are beginning to change their core structure and culture. Network rail is one such organisation attempting to create long-term change by focusing on staff engaging in Stem activities and mentoring to attract young people both at primary and secondary school to engineering.

Faye Bowser, head of energy performance and service at Siemens, also believes that the movement towards sustainability will attract more females into the profession:

I have worked across the energy industry for over 16 years and I am left with one overriding impression: sustainability attracts women.

Eurozone Construction Activity Drops - but some room for positivity

In the latest domino-effect from the outbreak of Covid19, construction activity in the Eurozone has seen a drop in May and June according to the latest findings from The IHS Markit Eurozone Construction Total Activity Index. However, activity in France and Italy recorded growth in the period.

Unsurprisingly, employment in the same period also shrank, but the rate of reduction "eased noticeably from May, and was modest overall", Construction Index reports.

Autodesk BIM 360 Now Integrates With Zoom to Allow Remote, Collaborative Drawing Markup

As the continuing and irreversible march towards remote working in the construction and energy industry continues, Zoom has announced that Autodesk BIM 360 now integrates with the online meeting platform. The full story can be found here, but the main takeaways, as Construction Junkie reports, are as follows:

"BIM 360, Autodesk’s project management platform, has recently released a free integration with Zoom to make offsite collaboration even easier. When setting up a meeting agenda, the organizer can simply hit the “Add Zoom Meeting button” to attach the web conference to the agenda.

On the flip side, the meeting attendees will have a link to the Zoom meeting attached to the meeting agenda that is sent out. No need to leave the BIM 360 platform to set up or join the meeting."

This is great news for forward-thinking clients and contractors looking to future-proof their business and avoid slowing down operations when sites or project offices aren't accessible.

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