Diversity or desperation?

24th November 2006 at 00:00
To South Thames College, where lecturers are concerning themselves with the greatest national crisis since T-bone steak poisoning, namely the shortage of women in the construction industry.

The college holds its Women into Construction event today, to highlight the need for more "diversity".

It is important that people's choices are not effected by fear of being discriminated against, which is why, we are led to believe, the construction industry is trying to clean up its act. But why is construction in the vanguard of sex equality?

It is, of course, pure coincidence that the industry, backed by a Government nervous about getting ready for the 2012 Olympic Games, has discovered that it is struggling to find enough suitably skilled, home-grown labourers willing to work for the wages firms pay to migrants from across eastern Europe.

Do they think women will do the work on the cheap?

Before employers ring their foremen, ordering them to empty their portable offices of Pirelli calenders in preparation for an influx of women, they might want to sit back and wait to see if this campaign actually works.

If employers want want more labourers, they might want to consider offering more money, or reducing the fatality rate.

In the meantime, my guess is most women will be intelligent enough to see through this sudden and otherwise inexplicable enthusiasm for sexual equality - sorry, "diversity".

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