Encouraging & supporting women in construction
March 8, 2017
Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.
Women have made great advances in the world of work with more women in employment than ever before accounting for just under half the workforce. But, in construction – still one of the largest employers in the UK – progress is exceptionally slow.
It’s not just for boys
The construction industry has been dominated by men. Some of this may be down to the physical nature of certain trades, but this doesn’t go the whole way to explaining it. Media and society have had a hand in how the construction business appears, with gender orientated advertising and the perception that it is no place for a woman
We live in a modern world, where equality is not just expected, but also respected. Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that women now make up only 11.2% of the construction workforce , with just 1 per cent of workers on site, the lowest level recorded in three years.
This is Huge Problem for the industry!
So what needs to be done to encourage women not just to join the industry but also to stay in the industry, to help build a more diverse skill set for the future.
The industry needs to be promoted in a positive light to encourage women to consider a career in construction; attracting women and inspiring the next generation to join the industry.
To achieve this, we need to go back to where it all starts – at school; informing young people about the varied opportunities available to them in construction and at the same time dispelling the misconceptions about the industry.
Companies need to create workforces which will strives for inclusion, and reflect the diversity. Encouraging women in to the construction industry through offering apprenticeships is on the increase.
Organisations such as Lang O’Roike have pledged for 30% of their apprenticeship and cadet programme to be taken up by women with other major contractors following suit.
We at Simon Nicholas Associates continue with others to try to beat down the overall perception of the construction industry being male orientated. As a parent of little ladies, they listen to us talk about exciting build projects, they see our site photos and they feel very proud of their mum who climbed a tower crane and one day would like to do that themselves.
Addressing gender diversity in the industry will not only help to combat the growing skills gap we’re all seeing, but will improve productivity, increasing wellbeing and have a positive impact on the UK economy.
.Let’s work together to make this happen and remember “It is not just for boys”