It’s not uncommon for a femme fatale to hold the floor in the boardroom. But that doesn’t always apply across every single sector. As you might rightly assume, women in construction are vastly underrepresented.
The construction industry falls down with just 1.25% of the female workforce (which makes up for 47% of all employed individuals.) But what does that mean for women that do want to move into the world of building, project management, and specialist trades?
Fortunately, as awareness grows, more women than ever are choosing construction. If you’re looking to break into the industry, understanding this emerging employment trend might help you to make a start for yourself.
Pre-2021, female construction workers accounted for a mere 14% of the industry’s workforce. But that seems to be shifting. More women than ever seeking qualifications tailored to construction.
While the majority of these changes are happening on the ground, evidence suggests that women are making waves in head office. As many as one-third of construction-based companies promoting women to senior roles in 2018 and beyond. 45% of which were specifically sales-based, while 31% were for management roles.
In some ways, this is still a step backwards. Right now, the trend shows 76% of women in construction are working off-site. But with a 21% increase in female promotions across construction and maintenance specifically, we are seeing signs of improvement.
More promisingly, 13% of construction firms are now owned by women – a 64% increase since 2014.
Surely, with so many women walking into construction, a female touch might make a difference? It’s thought that a growing focus on female-led practice lends construction the forethought, empathy, and logical thinking that it has perhaps been missing until now.
Certainly, their location off-the-field right now puts women in a unique position. It’s easier to foresee dilemmas that would perhaps be easy to miss on the ground, such as the need for comfortable working conditions. Examples included introducing additions like gas oil for heating applications or increased safety equipment.
And, more specifically, more female representation in the construction office is leading to one long-overdue thing. The increase in women in construction overall!
At this point, we have to ask – what does the future look like for female entrepreneurs breaking into construction?
Well, the outlook is certainly positive. Momentum is only set to gain here as more women fill key roles and drive construction in the right direction. That said, it would be too simple to assume that female struggles in this area are behind us all together.
In reality, female construction workers on all levels still face setbacks. 43% of construction firms fail to monitor gender pay gaps, while 73% of females felt passed over due to their gender.
More pressingly, 47% of women lack any strong female role model within construction. Yet, this seems as if it’s starting to get a complete overhaul.
Is construction up to date with other industries where female representation is concerned? Definitely not. That said, changes is coming. While better late than never, they could be about to alter the face of construction as we know it.
Have you thought about working in construction world? Or are you already building a career in the field? Share your thoughts with the SOCIÉTÉ community in the comments below.
As a woman in construction I really enjoyed this well informed and well written post. I’m happy to work for a business that tries to treat males and females the same, and with being able to work from home this will only help this further. In my part of the business we seem to have a good fair share of women including one of three directors being female. I do feel valued at work and this is the main thing.
So glad that you approve, Linz! It’s great that you feel valued! Gx