Construction Industry Needs More Women: Image Credit – CC0 Licence
There are still many industries all over the world that are male-dominated. There are different reasons for this. In some fields, it’s hard for women to infiltrate what has always been a boys club, and it can feel as though tradition is pushing against them. But, there are other industries where women don’t feel as though they can work. Construction is perhaps a combination of the two.
The construction industry has always been male-dominated. Traditionally because it needed strong men to do the work, women would have struggled to carry and lift, and not many would have wanted to. Women were less likely to want to get dirty, less physically strong and perhaps intimidated by the idea of joining in with men on a building site.
Times have changed
Construction still needs physically fit staff but many women today are strong and perfectly capable. There have also been advancements that mean technology plays a much greater part. Of course, there have always been positions in the industry that won’t require massive levels of strength, or even getting your hands dirty. While women are getting stronger and becoming more likely to work, men are changing too. The modern man doesn’t or certainly shouldn’t be wolf-whistling at the women that pass a building site. They are respectful of women, they don’t underestimate them. Many construction businesses are keen to get more women on board.
Despite these changes, to the world, the industry and the attitudes of the people in it, it’s thought that less than 1 in a 100 workers in construction are women and over 85% of these work in admin, or other office positions. It is a shame, as women have a lot to offer the industry. Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons that the construction industry needs more women.
Equality is exceptionally important today. Women are returning to work after having children or putting their careers first even after they’ve settled down. Many women work full-time, whether they have children or not, they want to be afforded the same opportunities as men. They should be able to work in any field, make money, gain promotions and improve their skills. While construction remains male-dominated, it remains behind the times. It remains an industry that doesn’t promote equality, and so, does not appeal to women. It needs more women to become equal.
To Close the Pay Gap
The gender pay gap is a big deal. Most companies now publish information on their pay structures, to highlight everything that they are doing to close any gap that may exist. But, it is harder to close the gap in an industry like construction where there are fewer women in high up positions, and more working in administrative roles. Hire women to close the pay gap.
Women Think Creatively
There is plenty of room for a creative mind in construction. Working in design or on technical projects requires plenty of creativity. But, managing problems on-site can also be easier if you are able to think creatively and come up with solutions quickly. Creative designers, contract managers, design directors, technical assistants, site managers and infrastructure designers all need to be creative and passionate.
Women Have Unique Skills
It would be terribly sexist to say that women are good at some things and men are better at others. We all have different skills. And advancements like laser levels and other job site tools mean that the skills needed in construction aren’t what they were. But, women are often more organised. They think more creatively, they can be excellent problem solvers, and they are hard-working, kind and thoughtful. All excellent skills to have on-site, whether up a ladder or in the office.
Mixed-gender workplaces often have much better morale. They work productively, and their combined skills make the perfect team. Construction needs more women to help create a balanced and productive workforce. An improved atmosphere can lead to better relationships with clients, a calmer workforce, and an appealing place for all genders to work.
Fantastic Leadership Opportunities
Women can make fantastic business leaders. They are organised and intelligent. Women think carefully and take their time over decisions. They are good with money and present a powerful presence in the boardroom. In construction, there are many wonderful leadership opportunities open for women. They can work as site engineers and technicians, as well as team leaders. They could go on to work in HR or health and safety, or take an office managers position. In the US, there are currently only three female CEO’s in construction, but the availability of these positions is growing, and there is room for more women to jump on board.
Women Inspire Women
Hire women, become known as a company that hires women, and other women will follow. One of the main reasons that more women don’t want to work in construction, even when the opportunities are there is that they are intimidated by the boys club. They worry about being different, about not being taken seriously or about not being able to do the job. Sometimes, the only way to make sure that your business appeals to strong, confident women that are keen to work and eager to bring their skills, is to hire other women to follow them.
You Want to Stand Out
If you own your own construction firm, you are probably always on the lookout for ways to stand out from the rest. You might be looking out for ways to get noticed, to make an impression and to build a reputation as a trustworthy company, that people can turn to. Hiring more women, and becoming a business that is known for promoting equality, for taking on smart and creative women and for paying and treating them fairly can be a fantastic way for your business to get noticed for all the right reasons. You’ll always stand out from the crowd, and be seen as forward-thinking and fair, which is exceptionally important in the modern world.