How can we encourage more women into the construction industry?

How can we encourage more women into the construction industry Safety Forward

Women make up just under a quarter of the construction industry, in what’s always been a very male dominated sector. Women represent around half of the UK workforce, so where are they in this rewarding career choice and what can be done to encourage them to bring their much needed skill set into these roles? Our latest article explores how we can encourage more women into the construction industry and what we believe needs to be hi-lighted in an attempt to shift the balance.

Raise awareness

Women are sometimes just unaware of the sheer variety of jobs within the construction industry and what opportunities are available to them so simply raising awareness could create change, by speaking and educating the wider public. Businesses with female construction workers need to be vocal and promote their achievements far and wide.

Offer flexibility

Offering an element of flexibility in an industry that is known for it’s long hours and travel, could entice a more diverse audience and widen up the talent pool to more women. Traditionally, the roles of parent/carer are still heavily weighted to the females, but by trying to offer some of that role for home working or job sharing where at all possible, could ease this pressure.

Focus at a young age

A lot can be achieved by raising awareness at school level and educating young girls in the options out there. Recognising the importance and value of gender diversity through job fairs, education talks and work placements can create that change in view and mindset from a younger age.

Treat all equally

A study about gender pay gaps and issues within the construction sector carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that 30% of women cited sexism as a fear surrounding their career choice. What’s more, 39% responded saying they did not believe firms were doing enough to attract women to the industry. As a company you have a responsibility to make sure your staff are paid based on their ability, performance and commitment to their job, not their gender.

Having someone to aspire is sometimes all it takes to initiate a change and realise that it can be done, and done very well. Our own Director, Marisa Firkins feels strongly about how we can encourage more women into the construction industry and recently said

“I believe that woman bring huge benefits to construction and I want to use my own personal career journey to inspire others. Bringing more women into the industry would inevitably bring new skill sets and perspectives into the sector, and could widen the pool of skilled candidates considerably. As it stands, the future doesn’t look bright-there’s currently only one female construction apprentice to every 56 male apprentices. As a country, we need to change this and address the gender imbalance”

For further information on how we can encourage more women into the construction industry please contact us here.