Women in Leadership Event


Women in Leadership Event

Collaborating to drive change

Marking the significance of International Women in Engineering Day, the event brought together industry leaders, visionaries, and aspiring professionals to discuss gender inclusivity in STEM fields.

Fabienne Viala, Chair and CEO of Bouygues UK opened the event with her speech underscoring the importance of diversity and inclusion within the industry. Bouygues UK and its sister companies are proud to have made significant progress in promoting gender diversity, but as noted in Viala’s opening remarks, there remains much work to be done. The presence of women in cross-sector leadership roles has grown, bringing diverse perspectives and innovative solutions to the forefront but we must continue to inspire and support the next generation of women, ensuring they have the opportunities and encouragement to thrive.

Amelle Mestari, Director of Procurement & CSR at Equans UK & Ireland, showcased initiatives that foster inclusivity and support women in engineering across the Bouygues Group, in the UK. The "Girls Believe Academy," launched by Bouygues UK and Equans in 2021, inspires young women to pursue careers in construction and engineering, reaching thousands of students. The Colas Wellness Programme, addressing period dignity and women's health, earned the National Highways award for "Outstanding Contribution to Health & Wellbeing", and has recently been shortlisted for a Construction News award. Colas Rail emphasises the importance of female mentorship for a strong start in the professional world. The Equans "Women in Leadership" programme, launched in 2022 in partnership with Equans’ Women Together network and Manchester Business School, supports women at different career stages. With 87 women enrolled, 20% of the previous cohort received promotions within a year.

One of the event's highlights was a presentation by Meg Khan, a London-based photographer, designer, and storyteller. Her project, "Seen the Stories," delves into the impact of storytelling and visibility in amplifying the voices of marginalised individuals. Khan shared her journey and the inspirations behind her project, emphasising the power of narrative in driving change.

Griselda Togobo, the esteemed guest speaker, provided valuable insights and strategies for thriving in male-dominated industries. Togobo emphasised the necessity of bravery in advancing gender equality and unlocking the full potential of talent in STEM fields. Her passionate advocacy for more women leaders at decision-making tables resonated deeply with the audience.

The event concluded with a networking session, where attendees had the opportunity to connect and share experiences. This was the perfect opportunity to exchange of ideas and fostered a sense of community among the delegates.

As the industry continues to evolve, events like these play a crucial role in inspiring and empowering the next generation of women leaders. We hope that collective efforts of Bouygues UK, Colas Limited, Colas Rail, and Equans can serve as an inspiration of hope and progress, promoting the path towards a more inclusive world for the next generation.