Women: Building our future

There is a reason GAP has grown to be the UK’s leading independent equipment hirer and has become known as a leading employer for the best people in the industry; we don’t pay lip service to paving the way for women in construction, we practice what we preach.

GAP recognises and rewards men and women equally based on their performance, skills and experience. According to the ONS, the gender pay gap between men and women working in construction stands at 45.4%, with women paid an average hourly rate of £8.04 compared with £14.74 for men. GAP doesn’t have a gender pay gap, in fact, women are paid on average slightly higher than men:

Mean pay difference between male and female employees: -3.17%
Median pay difference between male and female employees: -9.99%

Relative Gender Split by Pay BandIrrespective of gender, we know our business couldn't function without the right people in place. We look after our staff and make sure they feel valued, heard and happy at work, while giving them plenty of opportunities for professional advancement in the career route which best fits their passion and skill set. This, combined with our continuing policy of promoting from within the organisation, improves employee loyalty, commitment and performance. During 2016, 111 employees, representing 7% of our workforce, were promoted internally.

GAP seeks to employ a workforce which reflects the diverse community. The Company values the individual contribution of people irrespective of gender, age and ethnicity as outlined in our Equal Opportunities Policy. The Company recognises that stereotypes such as all men being stronger and more robust than women, simply isn’t true. The characteristics we look for when recruiting are shared core values, drive and passion.

According to the ONS, from boardroom to building site, it is estimated that women account for around 12.8% of the construction industry’s workforce. GAP employs 258 females which accounts for 15.6% of our workforce. Since GAP was founded by Gordon Anderson in 1969, there have never been any barriers for women to take on roles that have may be perceived as gender specific to men and there is no ‘glass ceiling’. Three females sit on GAP’s Executive Management Team (33%), four females are in the Senior Management Team and nine of our General Managers are female.

From apprentice fitters and HGV drivers to the Head of HR and Divisional Operations Manager, the impact and influence of women in GAP is significant.

GAP plays an active role in encouraging the next generation of female construction industry employees, promoting the sector as a successful career route. The Company gets involved in carousel-style career days at schools in the local community to showcase our values, while presenting all of the options available to young people and the paths they can take within the industry - through internships and apprenticeships.

GAP is a member of the 5% Club, consisting of companies committed to ensuring at least 5% of their workforce over the next five years is comprised of young people on structured learning schemes. We are exceeding this target at 5.3% as we aim to play a role in transforming the futures of young, talented people throughout the UK.

What our staff say…

Vicky Hesson, Non-Mechanical Division South Operations Manager

Vicky Hesson

“I was asked once what advice I would give to a young woman starting out in the construction industry. My answer was to learn as much as you can from the great people around you, whether that is a man or a woman. I have learned that a woman does not need to act like a man to succeed, we all have a part to play. Being able to relate to others is critical in management regardless of your gender. 

“I work in a company that does not see a man or a woman, they see the person doing the job. This is how it should be!

“Man or woman, we are all on the same side, working towards the same goals – a successful region, division and company.”

Mary Ann Hunter, Regional Deputy – Lifting North

Mary Ann Hunter“Being in the construction industry for the past 26 years, I have experienced some major changes. It has transformed from the non-acceptance of women on-site, to women holding top jobs within the industry.

“I have been in the Lifting industry for 17 years and enjoy my role, but it was challenging at the beginning. Some male customers would not trust me to handle their orders. Within a few years however, this situation had turned full circle; with a previous employer I was asked if I could come in to work once a month whilst on maternity leave to process one of our major customers contracts as he didn’t trust anyone else to do it!

“GAP is committed to equal opportunities for all members of staff. The training and development of staff is second to none. The investment in training from GAP is tailored to meet the requirements of the individual, and the progression path is open to all on a level playing field.

“We have more women coming through the ranks within the Company, and the support is very evident from all management and the Board. They have the confidence in our (women) ability to perform the job to the highest of standards, and we will continue to prove them right.”

Dionne Russell, General Manager, Elgin Plant & Tools

Dionne Russell“Beginning as a Hire and Sales Coordinator in 2004, I have been working in the construction industry for 13 years. As my confidence grew and with the help of career coaching and support within GAP, I was promoted to General Manager for my local Elgin depot in 2007.

“I find the job very enjoyable and challenging - no day is ever the same. I would say to anyone considering a career within the industry to go for it!”

Natalle Martin, General Manager, Falkirk Plant & Tools

Natalee Martin“My career with GAP began in January 2006 as a Hire and Sales Coordinator within the Falkirk Depot. It was a role that at the time I knew nothing about and I had no previous knowledge of the plant hire industry. I soon adapted to my position and was very eager to succeed within GAP. As the months’ passed my goal was to one day to manage a depot, to which I can proudly say I achieved in 2010.

“The company has supported me since my first day on the job, providing me with the required training and support to succeed. Since joining GAP I have completed the following:

• Level 3 NVQ – Supervising Hire & Rental Operations – Equipment Plant & Tools
• Modern Apprenticeship Management – SVQ Level 3
• Institution of Occupational Safety & Health
• Various in-house courses

“The plant hire industry was traditionally viewed as a male dominated career, however this is no longer the case. GAP employs many females who are very successful within lots of different and varied roles. It is great to be involved in a company who recruit and develop talented individuals, which is a valuable part to their succession plan, regardless of their gender.”