BIM Regions outlines plans to boost women in BIM and reach across industry

8 February 2016 | By Elaine Knutt

The BIM Regions network, established last year as the new identity for the former regional BIM Hubs, has committed to gender equality in its leadership group, promising a 50:50 balance of men and women in the roles of regional “BIM Champions”.

At the same time, the organisation has outlined its plans to expand its “reach” in BIM mandate year from about 10,000-15,000 industry professionals to around 25,000 – through its regional events programmes, e-newsletters and website.  

The steps to establish BIM as an arena where women are visibly represented were outlined at a recent quarterly meeting of its national executive, the “BIM Champions” group. 

The organisation currently has 16 regional groups, each appointing two BIM “champions” to act as a focal point on BIM for businesses in the region.

But achieving the 50:50 target would be via creating additional “BIM Champion” roles, rather than “playing musical chairs” with the existing appointments, explained John Eynon, who is co-chair of the BIM Champions group, alongside Elizabeth Kavanagh of architect Stride Treglown.

Boosting the number of women taking a leadership role in BIM would therefore be achieved by encouraging regions to subdivide and create more focused, responsive organisations.

Eynon said: “As a male in a male-dominated industry, I think we need to do something to change the game, and take a thought leadership position.”

BIM Regions – formerly supported by the Construction Industry Council, but now free-standing and self-supporting – is to be constituted as a not-for-profit legal entity, allowing it to raise funds and trade independently.

It also plans to boost engagement with local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships and framework providers, possibly by holding joint events.

The executive also hopes to work more closely with leading trade associations across the industry. It has also appointed marketing consultant Pam Bhandal (@Pambhandal) as lead on communications and PR. 

On the target to reach 25,000 people in 2016, Eynon said: “We want to move on from a mindset of maintenance and into a mindset of growth.” 

Other plans for the coming year include producing a “collaboration toolkit” based on the existing BS 11000 standard, Collaborative Business Relationships. 

As a male in a male-dominated industry, I think we need to do something to change the game, and take a thought leadership position.– John Eynon, co-chair, BIM Champions group