Women in construction surge despite facing discrimination

womenA new poll has found that over three quarters of employers within the construction sector have experienced an increase in the number of women working in ?traditionally male jobs’ within the last 12 months.

Business insurance website constructaquote.com polled 874 construction company owners and employers who had at least ten years of experience. When asked if they had noticed an increase in the number of women showing an interest in, applying for or securing jobs at their companies in the past year, 76% stated that this was true.

However, the research also found that only 22% of those asked actually employed women in construction roles. Of the remaining 78% of employers, the majority (63%) said that they would welcome female workers within their companies, whilst 38% admitted that they would be cautious of how employing a female would differ to employing males, but would nonetheless give a woman a job were she the best candidate for a position.

The study also asked over 500 female workers currently employed within the construction industry if they had noticed an increase in the amount of women looking for work within the sector. Over 60% agreed this was the case, despite almost two thirds (64%) also claiming that they had experienced prejudice or discrimination since deciding to join the construction industry.

In an effort to understand why greater numbers of female workers are entering the sector in spite of these attitudes, the research asked its female respondents to choose the biggest incentives for joining construction. It found that the earning potential was the biggest factor, while the wide range of construction apprenticeship opportunities available from local colleges and schools was also a major factor.

Lyndon Wood, chief executive and creator of constructaquote.com, said:

“As with many traditionally male-dominated professions, there is still a widely accepted assumption that jobs in construction are just not meant for females. Quite frankly, I couldn’t agree less with this stereotype, and would actively encourage any young women tempted by a career in the industry to go for it and change the opinions of those around you by excelling in your chosen trade. Our findings certainly show that positive steps are already being made and, hopefully as more and more women secure good jobs in the industry, the more socially recognised it will become.”


He added:

“With the widely reported recent findings suggesting that there is a shortage of skills needed in the UK construction industry, it surely makes sense for employers and industry leaders to start actively encouraging women to start careers in order to boost the industry in years to come.”

This latest study follows recent forecasts from Randstad, which suggest that over a quarter of jobs within the construction industry will be held by women in 2020.

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