Construction industry needs to become more female-friendly to tackle employee shortage

The construction industry must become more attractive to women and female friendly is if it is to beat the skills shortages with women in construction, claims one company.

Construction industry needs to become more female-friendly to tackle employee shortage (F) - Women in Construction
Female builder – Via Shutterstock

One Way, a specialist construction and rail recruiter, conducted recent analysis and found that employers must look to address the construction sector’s environments, if they want to attract more women into the industry and create more women in construction.

Currently, there are over 265,000 women working in construction and statistics reveal that female professionals will make up 26 per cent of the workforce by 2020.

One Way, however, warns that in order to retain this flow of women and to keep the level of women in construction, employers must develop more open and welcoming work environments.

Paul Payne, Managing Director of One Way, said, “We’ve been very vocal about the skills shortages that are plaguing the construction and wider engineering industries and, until recently, the female half of the workforce has been entirely overlooked by employers.”

“Thankfully, times have changed and we’re now seeing a healthier pipeline of female talent moving into the sector.”

“However, all of this hard work could go to waste if employers don’t think about the impact of the working culture that they’re fostering. Let’s be honest, construction isn’t the most female friendly industry and while a lot of the stereotypes are now outdate, it still has some obstacles to overcome in order to become a truly inclusive industry.”

There are currently a number of different schemes throughout the industry, aimed at encouraging more women and girls to think about a career in construction. #NotJustForBoys is a government campaign helping to raise awareness of the options available to and inspire women; while some companies such as EDF Energy and Hays have their own schemes to create diversity.

Continuing Payne said, “Recruiting women doesn’t just make sense in terms of boosting the numbers of workers in the sector, but also in terms of improving diversity which, as we all know, holds clear business benefits.”

“There are a number of highly effective schemes in place like the SPEC programme and the likes of the #NotJustForBoys initiative which have made a real difference, but now it’s down to employers to create a more welcoming and friendly environment.”

“Bringing in fresh blood can help to improve processes in areas like health and safety and compliance, to name just a few and having fresh, different perspectives on board can only help construction firms grow at a time when the market is particularly challenging and uncertainty is rife.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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