How can women be encouraged to consider a career in construction?
As there is less than 13% of the construction industry made up of female workers, there is no doubt that it is important to create a balance and even out workers within the sector to create a lower male to female ratio. So how can women be encouraged to consider and pursue a career in the construction industry?
Why are there less women in construction?
Perhaps the key to knowing what approach to take to encourage women to consider a career in construction is to understand the many reasons why the industry is currently lacking female workers. These reasons include society’s view of a male-led construction industry, gender stereotypes, and the way that the industry advertises roles to their target audience. It may be that some women don’t think they’re interested in working in construction but could be surprised that they’re more skilled and interested than they would initially expect once they put their hand to something. So how can this interest be nurtured and explored?
Advertising to young workers
Advertising should be targeted largely at millennial workers, and equally at both genders. It should show a whole spectrum of skills and opportunities that both men and women can explore within the construction industry, rather than just the initial “builder” role. There are so many avenues within construction such as design and administration which women may not even have considered before, and some physical skills may interest them more than others. Building a bigger picture is key to helping both men and women understand the broad range of opportunities that the construction industry has to offer them.
Incentive schemes and apprenticeships
Some women may be put off applying for construction roles for fear of being tied into an industry that they are unsure will satisfy both their personal interests and career aspirations. Incentive schemes and apprenticeships are a fantastic pathway into the construction industry that can allow women (and men) interested in exploring a career in construction to practically experience the industry. This gives them a taste of the roles they could themselves do, without forcing them into a career for life if they change their mind. These opportunities also build a sense of community and belonging which could encourage more women to decide to work in construction for the long term.
Managing discrimination and sexism in the workplace
At the centre of all schemes and already established workplaces, it is important to work hard to fight the gender stereotypes that have crept into the construction industry. This can be done by managing discrimination and sexism in the workplace so that it is not tolerated, and by offering equal opportunities to men and women. A culture of honour can be cultivated so that colleagues and employers respect and interact positively together in a way that rewards genuine skills and capability and creates a feeling of inclusion for everyone regardless of gender.
The RG Group’s approach to recruiting women
The RG Group approaches recruitment in a way that recognises the strengths of the individuals that make up our team. We provide training and ongoing support to all employees and treat everyone equally irrespective of gender, age, religious views, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability, to ensure that we create a positive and community work environment.
Find out about our Careers by giving us a call today on 01732 526 850.