Construction industry narrows gender pay gap

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The 20th RICS and Macdonald & Co. Rewards and Attitudes Survey has found that the gender pay gap has closed in the construction sector during the past year, as more women are attracted to the industry

The overall gender pay gap between median salaries across property and built environment sectors is now 18.6%, according to the 3,461 UK respondents. However, this figure hides very marked contrasts and in many areas the gender pay gap is below the national average.

Positively, in construction, the gender pay gap has narrowed to 20.43% (from 36% last year) as industry recruits a wider and more diverse workforce. Last year’s gender pay gap figures (April 2018) showed that the construction industry was one of the poorest for pay disparity.

In London, female respondents working in construction in London are paid an average base salary of £43,000, whereas their male counterparts are paid less at £37,500.

As the age of respondents increases, the disparity reverses in favour of men. However, men are still rewarded greater bonus payments across the board, with large disparity visible in younger age groups.

Looking at changes to working practices, to allow for a more balanced and diverse work force, the survey asked respondents to note other benefits for which they are eligible. The results indicate that the industry is becoming more accommodative to work/life balance needs.

Benefits identified by respondents in their workplace include: working from home (46% of respondents are eligible to receive); flexible hours (35%); family healthcare (22%); employer pension (74%); and critical illness/life cover (37%).

Almost half of respondents (46%) feel that their employer has a great workplace culture as opposed to less than a quarter who think their workplace culture is poor. Coincidentally, 46% believe that their employer is dedicated to diversity, while only 21% feel that their employer is not.

Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity and Inclusion Director, commented: “The latest Rewards and Attitudes Survey certainly demonstrates that progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go, and we’re disappointed in the difference between male and female bonus figures across the board.

“We have been working to ensure that there is greater awareness of surveying as an aspirational career path, and that there is an improvement in the number of women coming into surveying. Already this year we are seeing 25% of all newly qualified professionals and almost a third of new enrolments are women.

Peter Moore, CEO of Macdonald & Company, added: “Closing the gender pay gap is not an issue that can be solved overnight. However, headway is being made across most industry sectors.

As more women are encouraged into the real estate and the built environment realm, I expect the pay gap to close further throughout their careers.”

The Offsite Construction Survey

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