Women in Construction: An Image Problem
The construction industry has long been considered a masculine profession, but history proves that women have been on building sites much longer than you may think, for example, during the world wars. Unfortunately, after these wars were over, many women were shunned from working in construction – they were replaced by men, denied acceptance into trade unions and paid significantly less.
Whilst things have improved over the years, the image problem within the construction industry has meant that this improvement has been at an incredibly slow rate. Today, women represent just 11 percent of the workforce in the construction sector and just 1 percent of these women are working on-site*.
Why women are needed?
As the population grows, and the need for housing and workspaces increase, the UK’s construction industry must be prepared and ensure sufficient workers are available for a sustainable future. Population growth is also leading to a more diverse nation and it well known that diversity breeds creativity and innovation, which can make a big difference in the success and posterity of an organisation.
Is there a solution?
A full reputation overhaul could be the answer to the large gender disparity problem, starting at the roots of the female career path – education. Employers and schools can work together to inform all genders about the benefits of a career in construction. Educational sites are also a great way to demonstrate just what can be achieved within the construction industry and inspire young students.
Planet has undertaken several educational projects over the years. Work experience can be offered to give insights into the daily workings of a construction company and fully engage students. Planet have always made efforts to offer work experience opportunities to partnering schools.
One of our core values at Planet is to have respect for our peers within the company and with everyone that we work with and for. The company showcases both our female and male talent on our website, believing that everyone plays an important part in the company’s success. We encourage inclusivity and are delighted to engage in the conversations surrounding Women in Construction. Let us have your thoughts on how, as an organisation, we can be a more attractive employer for women.
*The Smith Institute – building the future: women in construction