Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Closing the gender gap in infrastructure - developing the talent pool, career progression and representation in leadership

Morning, Thursday, 7th February 2019

Central London


This seminar will consider the priorities for growing the role of women across the infrastructure industry - including numbers joining the sector, career progression and female representative in leadership roles.

The agenda will bring out latest thinking on what is needed to develop a diverse talent pool across engineering, planning and construction, with a focus on overcoming the challenges for improving engagement in STEM subjects, increasing female representation on engineering and construction apprenticeships, the role of career advice, and strategies for overcoming potential barriers to entering the industry, such as perceptions of workplace cultures. We also expect discussion on intersectional issues affecting women from BAME communities, from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and those with disabilities.

Attendees will discuss the next steps for developing career progression and reducing pay gaps, including mentorship programmes, and next steps for increasing the number of women in leadership roles in the sector.

Further sessions will assess the opportunities for employers to support women at work, looking at latest thinking on addressing unconscious bias and encouraging policies to create more inclusive workplace cultures, as well as practical measures such as returnship programmes.

Guest of Honour

Vanessa Howlison

Chief Financial Officer, Highways England

Guest of Honour

Vanessa Howlison

Chief Financial Officer, Highways England

Keynote Speaker

Rachel Tomkins

Head of Business Excellence, Thames Tideway


Peter Finegold

Head of Education and Skills, Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Elizabeth Dunn

Partner, Burges Salmon

Manon Bradley

Development Director, Major Projects Association

Sarah Fenton

Strategic Partnership Director, Midlands & North, CITB