2018 Video Highlights

The 2018 Inspire Summit took place on Tuesday 25thSeptember at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester and brought together almost 400 construction, engineering & housing professionals to hear about the achievements of women blazing a trail in the built environment.

The event, hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Marverine Cole featured a keynote presentation and Q&A with Barbara Res – Barbara is known for being the first woman to oversee a major New York City construction site, when in 1979 she was employed by Donald Trump to build the world famous Trump Tower. 

The event was attended by men and women working in the built environment, as well as students and school pupils hoping to join the industry.

Headline Speaker Confirmed

Barbara Res - The woman who built Trump Tower

Attend | Learn | Inspire


Following the success of last year’s Inspire Summit, the one day conference and exhibition returns to Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on the 25th September.

The focus for the 2018 summit is how we attract and retain women in the construction and related industries, with tangible takeaways for industry participants who want to increase their gender diversity.

TRACK 1: With the 'Inspire Industry Change' conference track, delegates can expect a comprehensive business case for why the industry needs to change and expert presentations on what needs to be done and how we can achieve gender equality in UK construction, engineering & housing.  This will comprise a balanced gender mix of speakers and is aimed at attracting professionals of all sexes who are serious about achieving gender parity in their organisation and the wider industry.

TRACK 2: As with the 2017 event, the paid professional delegates will subsidise free attendance for students, apprentices and women of all ages who don't currently work in the sector (but are considering doing so) to attend the 'Inspire the next generation' conference track.  Presentations will highlight current & future roles in construction, break down stereotypes, hear from inspirational female role models, showcase live projects and offer viable routes into an exciting career in the building industry.


Track 1: Inspire Industry Change (professional delegates only)

Welcome address: Beyond the 100 years - a testament to the suffragette movement and a brief history of the role of women in industry over the 100 years from then to now.

Introduction:  Breaking down our pre-programmed gender roles.  What jobs can’t women do?   Re-wiring our gender biased brains

Where are we now?  What is the problem and where do we start to change?  Why do we need gender parity and what is the business case?

Embracing & making the business case for flexible working

The importance of role models. How do we engage with schools & parents?  Adopting a school - a working case study

Careers Clinic - how we do ensure talent retention & development?

How to combat discriminatory behaviour in the workplace:  Educate = Eradicate

How do we change the image of construction to appeal to the next generation?  Selling the future workplace

Gender pay gap - How does your organisation implement equal pay?

Track 2: Inspire the next generation

Welcome address: Beyond the 100 years - a testament to the suffragette movement and a brief history of the role of women in industry over the 100 years from then to now.

An introduction to the building industry and the importance of the built environment on modern society

What inspired me into a career in construction (panel presentation)

Different roles in construction:  What roles can’t women do?  Breaking down the stereotypes.

Live project showcase

Trades Taster Session - Women on the Tools

Design Engineer Construction Course - Taster session

A window on the future of a career in the building sector - showcasing technology in the building sector (including AI, VR, BIM & modular construction)

Steps to success and routes into the industry

Why attend?

Be inspired by keynote presentations from leading professionals in their field
Help inspire the next generation (with paid-for delegates subsidising free attendance for students & apprentices) and meet the next crop of female graduates coming into the industry
Join the debate on how we change the culture of the industry to be more diverse & inclusive
Gain valuable insights on making your organisation more inclusive from experts on EDI
Network with over 400 leading professionals – including leading voices on training, corporate responsibility and equality, diversity & inclusion
Showcase your organisation to some of the UK’s leading construction clients from rail, infrastructure, housing, commercial property and the public sector

Two Stages

Charles Hallé Suite
Barbirolli Room


Exhibitors at the 2017 Summit:

  • Wates Group
  • Mears
  • Redrow Homes
  • Whitbread
  • The Association of Women in Property (WiP)
  • Women in Social Housing (WISH)
  • Morson International
  • e3p
  • Women on the Tools
  • Skills4Stem Ltd
  • Stopcocks
  • Travis Perkins
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Galliford Try Partnerships
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
  • Hilti
  • University of Salford
  • Waste Plan Solutions
  • Great Places Housing Group
  • Jooce Marketing & PR
  • National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
Exhibitor enquiries


Click for more information on delegate rates, exhibitor packages & sponsorship opportunities

One amazing day…


If you don’t try you will never know whether you can do something

Sian Massey Ellis The only female football match official working in the English Premier League

why just fit in when you can stand out?

Emma Nicholls Founder of Your Red Dress

Be unique and proud and make space to learn

Karen Armitage Chief executive of Stafford and Rural Homes

The sector is doing some good work. It is just getting that message out there

Sarah Fenton Strategic partnerships director (Midlands & North), CITB

We need to value people who work with their hands

Claire Schimmer Chair of Women on the Tools

We need to encourage parents to understand what construction is about

Christine Townley Skills, diversity and young people champion

Event Sponsors