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As part of the #BuildingEquality Campaign, Joanne Cluxton, Group HR Manager with Mercury, shares her story as a woman in construction.
My journey working in HR began when I completed a BSc in Human Resource Management in DIT Angier Street (now part of TU Dublin). I start working with Mercury in 2007 as a HR Generalist. Initially, I was involved with labour forecasting and scheduling of labour predictions. Some of my first major initiatives with Mercury were putting together our Graduate, Apprentice and Leadership Programmes. During this time, I was shortlisted to the Top Three nominees for HR Professional of the Year with the Irish Early Career Awards.
Mercury gave me the opportunity to progress my career while also advancing my education, as I completed an Executive MBA at Dublin City University (DCU) while being promoted through the ranks. In 2016, I was promoted to Group HR Manager and joined Mercury’s Executive Management Team (EMT). I was the first woman to join the EMT, and since then that number has doubled to two.
In my current role, I manage a team of 30 people, and we look after 2,600 staff across over 16 locations globally. The HR function covers all areas, and I am particularly focussed on Leadership, Talent Management, Recruitment, Succession Planning, Labour Relations, Employment Law Compliance, Employee Relations, Training & Development, Forecasting & Reporting, Performance Management and more.
I believe it’s absolutely critical for more women to become involved in construction. At Mercury, we have already begun to see the benefits of diversity. Our differences make us stronger. The unique experiences and perspectives of our international workforce enable us to see things differently when delivering for our clients.
Although compared with our industry overall, Mercury has a higher than average percentage of females within our workforce, a major goal of ours is to further improve upon this and hire more women over the next five years. We are in the process of diversifying our approach to creating a talent pipeline to make this happen.
We have created a Diversity & Inclusion policy & strategy that covers every aspect of our business. This has encompassed everything from the review of our maternity and family leave policies to the creation of a Mercury Women Mentoring Group and the creation of Diversity & Inclusion champions across the entire Group. We have also increased our digital advertising focused on women, have brought in Diversity & Inclusion training for all staff, including more advanced training for our leadership. We have attended specialised Women in STEM graduate fairs in both Dublin and Amsterdam and formed a number of external partnerships to help us on our journey.
The results can already be seen and are reflected in our numbers. 2020 saw our Graduate female hires up from 7% to 20%. Our number of female apprentices has increased by 200%. Female hires overall went from 16% to 24%. Our retention rates for females is very high at 99% as of the end of 2020. Last year also saw Mercury receive the Investors in Diversity Bronze Award from the Irish Centre for Diversity.
Overall, we have achieved a lot for women in construction, but we still have a lot more work to do, and I don’t see any sign of us slowing down soon!
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated page here