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Infrastructure Show: Women reject quotas to achieve equality

Women should reach board room positions in engineering based on merit not tokenism or box ticking, said Port of London Authority chairman Dame Helen Alexander at the Infrastructure Show yesterday.

She said that the industry should try to get more women in the board room but it is “not about having professional board sitters… It needs to be done by encouraging more women up through the ranks”.

According to Alexander, women make up 16% to 20% of the engineering workforce so many of the quota targets “don’t make sense”.

“We must look at what makes sectors unattractive to women – and men,” she said. “This is different to being kept out of positions by stereotyping and preconceptions,” she said. “Girls make choices at 14 that come into play and this needs to be considered too.”

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