The Increasing Role of Women in Construction

The Increasing Role of Women in Construction

The Increasing Role of Women in Construction – Construction has traditionally been a male-dominated industry with very little representation of tradeswomen. In recent years though, the sector has experienced a notable shift as more women enter and excel in various roles.

Women now make up a higher proportion of workers in construction than ever, meanwhile, male employment has dropped since the COVID pandemic. In June 2023, the construction workforce was 15.8 percent female – a 1.2 percent increase compared to the previous quarter.

While there is still considerable work to be done in the industry, there are very real career opportunities opening up for women in construction. This is broadening gender diversity within the sector and comes with a range of its own benefits.

Breaking Stereotypes and Barriers

For decades, the construction industry has been significantly male-saturated, and this has contributed to sexist stereotypes that have barred women from flourishing in sector careers. Sexism, racism and homophobia are rife within construction and have led women, amongst other groups, to feel excluded.

Sexist language, discrimination and pay gaps are the main barriers that leave women feeling that they have no future in construction. Everyday casual sexism permeates the work culture, from manual labourers telling each other to ‘man up’ to demeaning sexualised comments. On average, female workers are paid considerably less and face challenges in career progression after having children.

While these issues still persist, women are now defying stereotypes by pursuing careers in diverse roles such as project management, engineering, architecture and leadership positions. This can mainly be attributed to increasing access to education, mentorship programs and advocacy efforts aimed at empowering women to enter and thrive in male-dominated fields.

Skills and Expertise Contribution

Working towards a more inclusive and diverse workforce brings valuable skills and new perspectives into the construction industry. Women in construction bring essential skill sets that are critical for navigating complex projects and fostering teamwork, including strong communication, problem-solving and collaboration abilities.

From using carpentry hand tools to complete projects and managing work sites, women are proving time and time again that they have the expertise and skills to work alongside their male counterparts.

Leadership and Career Advancement

As more women ascend into leadership positions in construction firms and organisations, they serve as role models and mentors for aspiring professionals. By advocating for improved gender equality, inclusivity and diversity, work environments are becoming safer and offer more diverse opportunities for career progression.

Having a more diverse workforce allows companies to attract and retain top talent and achieve sustainable growth in a competitive marketplace. Caring about equal opportunities displays organisations as inclusive and forward-thinking employers.

As an industry that frequently faces difficulties employing new workers, management is determined to promote gender diversity within its teams.

Poppy Watt

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