The latest figures show that in 2020, just 12.5% of the construction industry is made up of women. The 20% gender pay gap in the industry is also shocking and may be why women are deterred from working in construction. The UK average gender pay gap is 18%, making the construction industry higher than average.
This clearly has to improve. Companies should be opening their eyes to the positive benefits of hiring a diverse workforce. As CHAS, an accreditation scheme for contractors and supply chain management services for clients, points out, “From a brand point of view, a more equal gender balance will have a positive impact on a company’s reputation. This is especially true for construction companies where the industry is typically lagging when it comes to gender-balanced working environments.”
We believe a diverse workplace is an asset to any company. Here at A S Ramsay we find that a more gender-balanced work environment benefits us, offering different perspectives, ideas and giving us a diverse approach to problem-solving. Needless to say, women occupy some of the key roles here; from Business Development Manager to Financial Manager, from Quantity Surveyors to Project Team Co-ordinator.
It is so important that our industry listens and changes, for the sake of its future. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of women in construction said a fear of sexism held them back from pursuing senior roles in the industry. Sadly only 13% of a thousand women between the ages of 16 and 25 surveyed in 2017 would even consider a career in the construction industry – let alone pursue one.
The question has to be asked; with such a large labour shortage and absence of many skilled employees, why are we ignoring 51% of the population?
Our employees are our most important asset and crucial to winning tenders and delivering on our promises. We will continue to support the advancement of Women in Construction and reap the rewards of a more diverse workplace.
Business Development Manager