At this week’s 10th International Concrete Sustainability Conference in Miami, Florida, Cemex USA vice president, human resources, Florida region, Mnica Manolas, and Cemex Colombia human resources director, Amparo Bocanegra, presented at the Social Perspective for Women in Construction panel during the women’s forum hosted by the Women in Concrete Alliance.
There are records of women working in construction as far back as 13th century Spain, and today, according to Forbes magazine, women out-earn men in construction jobs. Beyond the benefits women can receive from working at a company like Cemex, there are benefits for the industry as well.
“Statistics show that women in the workforce actually make the industry safer,” said Manolas. “The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) reports that sites where women are present are more likely to have better safety records, and less severe incidents, than male-only locations.”
Bocanegra added that any country that seeks to be socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable cannot disregard half of the potential workforce. In many Latin American countries women represent a significantly smaller percentage of the workforce, but Cemex aims to foster diversity, including gender diversity.
Initiatives like Colombia’s “Madre Cemex” programme and policies that include flexible hours were created with that goal in mind. Through the group’s employee, family, and community programmes, it is focusing on creating more development opportunities in all regions. For example, in Poland, Cemex created a Women’s Forum, an employee affinity group where female employees can support and mentor each other.
The panel touched on various topics including what Cemex is doing to be more inclusive to women, how it is recruiting them, and how it is retaining them. As a company that values our people as its main competitive advantage, Cemex is determined to always hire the best, and ensure that their health, safety, and professional growth are top priorities.