Institute of Technology Carlow links up with the Construction Federation of Ireland to promote its #BuildEquality Campaign
Institute of Technology Carlow, through its Dept of Built Environment and Extended Campus, has linked up with the Construction Federation of Ireland’s (CIF) to support its #BuildEquality campaign. The campaign is aimed at increasing the number of women choosing to enter the construction sector.
One of the initiatives will see the Dept. of Built Environment and Extended Campus at the Institute of Technology Carlow host a new team member, a ‘Lottie’ Doll. The Irish-made Lottie Dolls are designed to empower young children to be themselves and to explore their interests regardless of gender. The campaign aims to empower young girls to consider careers and activities that have been traditionally male dominated.
The Lottie Doll initiative forms a small but important part of the CIF’s overall #BuildEquality campaign. To date, Lottie has promoted science, engineering and archaeology to young girls. She has even travelled to the International Space Station, imparting the message to young girls that they can work in any profession they wish.
The Department of Built Environment and Extended Campus at Institute of Technology Carlow says its aim is to apply “an inclusive lens to all activities, from recruitment of students and staff, to curriculum design and development, to supporting graduates as they transition from higher education to the workplace”. The Department will draw on the spirit of the Lottie campaign and will continue to engage in initiatives to encourage young girls to consider studying and working in the engineering and construction industries in the future. In support of its inclusive vision, the department is actively encouraging more girls to apply for its various honours degree courses in Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying, Construction Management with Building Services, Facilities and Building Services Management and Architectural Technology. The department regularly undertakes school visits and recently hosted a Women in Engineering and Computing Workshop, which saw over 200 girls from schools across Counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Wicklow visit the Institute and meet female students, graduates and staff from the area. The event was so successful that another workshop is planned for early 2019.
“The industry suffers from a chronic shortage of women who currently represent less than 6% of the industry. Careers in construction have changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Better health and safety and increased use of technology are two trends making construction more attractive to young people, both male and female. Despite the excellent career opportunities available to graduates of engineering and construction related courses, fewer girls apply for these programmes at third-level. This is often due to the fact that they don’t believe, from various societal influences and from a young age, that it’s an industry for them. The Lottie promotional campaign and our other equality initiatives very much support our aim to promote inclusivity across all department activities”, commented Eoin Homan, Head of Department of Built Environment and Extended Campus at Institute of Technology Carlow.