The number of women in construction could be less than predicted

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A new survey has found the number of women working in the construction sector could be less than anticipated

Women in construction is undoubtedly an area that has seen much attention in recent years. The sector has pushed hard to encourage more diversity within the construction. Despite this there still remains an underlying belief gender has a significant impact on the industry.

Just last month, a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed more than two in five young women believe their gender is a barrier in their career.

Despite the strides being made there is clearly still an issue here. Now, a new survey has revealed the number of women in construction could in fact be less than predicted.

The challenges facing women in construction still remain

The survey was carried out by specialist construction recruitment firm One Way. It found 65 per cent of respondents worked in a company where less than five per cent of the workforce was made up of women in an actual construction role.

Some 58 per cent of respondents blamed businesses themselves for the challenges facing women in construction, including issues such as stereotyping in the recruitment process and a lack of commitment from employers.

Only 36 per cent thought the sector was not a popular career choice for women. Some 83 per cent said a lack of construction education in schools was creating a gap in female talent.

The survey formed part of One Way’s #GirlsAllowed campaign. This aims to encourage more women to seek careers in construction by bringing together construction and education outlets.

It also found that over 80 per cent of respondents said they would personally get involved in an initiative to address the lack of women in construction.

One Way’s managing director Paul Payne said: “What is clear from these results is that employers need to do more to both attract more women into the industry and embrace them once on board.

“The results of the survey clearly demonstrate that the sector has a bad reputation when it comes to hiring females and given the severity of existing skills shortages, this simply cannot continue.

“While we were expecting to find low levels of employment, some of the figures were certainly below our initial perceptions, which makes the need for greater collaboration through initiatives such as the #GirlsAllowed campaign more vital now than they have ever been.

“While it’s great to see so many respondents commit to taking more action, there were some concerning views that came to light that I feel need to be altered immediately.

“Aside from some of the gender stereotyping comments, other remarks suggested that some in the industry itself don’t think construction is a sector that women should be in.

“This is quite simply untrue and is an attitude myself and the team at One Way certainly want to turn around.”

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