For the past four years we have been running management and leadership courses for women in construction and whilst our blog on why women need separate management and leadership training can tell you why the training is important this blog aims to look at why you should consider not only attending Construction Knowledge Circles but paying for them yourselves.
Whilst I have adored delivering training for women around management and leadership in construction the day long, employer led nature of these workshops caused me concern for a number of reasons.
1. The majority of the courses I ran for women around management and leadership were funded, this meant that only certain women could attend and once they had used their funding allocation they were no longer viable to attend further courses. Whilst something is better than nothing and many women did benefit , we also felt that this excluded groups of women and let down others who needed more support.
2. The training usually depended upon how enlightened the employer was. It was usual to encounter individual women asking me to deliver this training in their organisations only to be told by the HR department that it was not relevant to their staff. This lead to some women feeling the right support was not being provided and their voices were not being heard. It’s important to say that some HR departments were the opposite encouraging women who were at first apprehensive about attending*
3. The funding was dependent upon what the provider wanted and not always what the individual needed, there’s a lot of presumed barriers in the industry which sometimes lead to a lot of women feeling patronised and misunderstood – further isolating them from the support that should be helping them excel.
4. When the funding stops –it all stops. I have seen many wonderful organisations set up to support women fold due to lack of funding. This not only leaves a hole where advice once was but can leave people feeling let down and unimportant.
5. Most funding stipulates training must take place in the day – yet as women in construction we know how difficult it can be to get away from work especially if the training is seen as a fluffy women only event.
These reasons plus the many many emails and messages we have received over the years asking for more advice, support and guidance to achieving great careers in construction inspired us to set up Construction Knowledge Circles. Whilst we know that £20 can be a lot have a look at our reasons for charging you and not seeking funding.
1. By paying as an individual it ensures no one else can pull the funding – as long as enough women are interested we can continue to provide the workshops.
2. Because we are not at the mercy of a funding provider we can deliver the training you need. Whilst it’s not possible to please everybody all of the time we endeavour to consult and work with members to achieve what is best for them.
3. By paying for the CPD this means we can ensure each workshop is of high quality and designed for your needs, we want to give you what you need, not what we can get on the cheap.
4. Having worked in the sector for over ten years and spent a further four researching the management and leadership barriers that women face we really understand what might be holding you back and what you need to do to move forward. We will not patronise you or demand you do everything we tell you, we will simply tell you what we know and help you make choices that suit you – we are well aware that every individual and workplace is different.
5. With your buy in we can run courses regularly so you know when they are and can plan your lives around them.
6. Last but not least. We think it’s important we are paid for our time and would be a little insulted if you didn’t think so too!
If your interested in finding out more please get in touch or go straight to our website and book yourself on to the next course!
NB For those men who wish to attend, let me know I’m looking into the idea of holding mixed workshops alongside female only ones if the need is there.
*A strange occurrence, the apprehensive women usually left the best feedback after the sessions.