WOMEN were taken on a tour round the new £6m Dyson engineering campus by a Swindon construction firm to help close the gender gap in the industry.

Beard Construction, a family-run firm going for more than 125 years, organised the tour with the Association of Women in Property (WiP) at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology’s new roundhouse campus.

The circular two-storey complex, which Beard is due to complete in early spring, will house a library, café, bar, screening room and communal work and relaxation space for Dyson’s undergraduate engineers and on-site staff.

Students will split their time between working towards their Bachelor of Engineering Degree and working on projects for Dyson.

“Beard is a big supporter of the valuable work WiP does to promote and encourage more women into construction and engineering careers,"said Amanda Cassar, Beard business development advisor who organised the site tour.

"Women are woefully under-represented in both sectors and we desperately need more joining these professions and a more gender-balanced workforce to help address a chronic skills shortage and boost economic growth.”

Rebecca Ross, Women in Property South West, says: “We would like to extend our thanks to Beard and Dyson for their hospitality and for organising what was a well-attended site visit. This is the second site visit Beard has organised for us this year and we appreciate their continuing support of Women in Property. This particular event was very popular and sold out within days.”

WiP is works to increase the number of women in the property and construction industry and to ensuring that there are no glass ceilings impeding the progress of those already working in the sector.

Women account for 15 per cent of the workforce in construction and 12.5 per cent in engineering.