Women In Construction Week
Women in Construction Week (WIC Week) takes place during the first full week in March every year, coinciding with International Women’s Day celebrated annually on the 8th of March. This week recognises and celebrates every woman who works within the construction sector. WIC Week highlights the history of women in construction, the obstacles women have had to face, and the ways they have had to overcome these challenges.
As the construction industry is traditionally male-dominated, creating a comfortable working environment for both genders is vital. Companies are responsible for making sure that their staff is being treated equally, regardless of their gender. This means protective equipment that fits both genders properly must be supplied, whilst also ensuring that everyone has the correct working conditions to do their job.
While it can be argued that the main issue would be that women simply do not want to work in the construction sector, we need to question why. Are women inspired to enter the construction industry? Do they have equal access to education and training sessions? Improving gender diversity within this industry can be done by creating an appeal using career opportunities and changing people’s perceptions. While each gender does bring a different skill set to a job role, schools should emphasise that any industry can be possible to have a career in, regardless of gender.
Many workers struggle with work/life balance due to the long and demanding work hours, which can be one of the reasons women are discouraged from entering the industry. Parental responsibilities require an element of flexibility within their roles that some employers might not be able to provide.
What Can I Learn from Women in Construction Week?
- It’s important to encourage women to take construction opportunities. The link below is a great website to provide bespoke support for women wishing to work in the construction industry, and assist contractors to recruit highly motivated, trained women, helping to reduce skill gaps and create a more gender-equal workforce.
- Attending courses and careers fairs – It’s great to attend events and fairs that will increase industry contacts, a popular one that we can recommend would be the Women in Construction Summit.
- One of the best ways to grow in the industry is to share your views and ideas with your peers. Forming connections and building relationships within the industry is a great way of connecting and learning from other women.
Ready for Change
One of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry is the shortage of skilled workers. Attracting a diverse range of people in the construction sector can help to work towards closing the skills gap. There is evidence that suggests that women want leading roles in the construction industry. A survey carried out by recruitment firm Hays found that almost 64% of women aspired to a senior leadership position, compared with just 54% for men.
The construction industry is in desperate need of women in senior-level jobs. The question is, why do so many women overlook the construction industry and not consider it as able to provide a rewarding career path for them? According to a study by Randstad, a third of women who work in the sector have dealt with some form of discrimination with 31% experiencing inappropriate comments from male colleagues. Women remain hugely underrepresented in this sector, more women are required to hold senior roles within this sector to create a safe place for younger women to consider a career in construction as an option.