reaking into a traditionally male-dominated industry can be terrifying. Being the only woman in a boardroom of men can be stressful. Being a trailblazer for your gender in a field can be nerve-wracking.
Women have been making strides in the construction sector for some years, and the coronavirus pandemic has recently reignited the debate on the “cement ceiling” and to what extent it has been shattered, if at all.
As a business that is proud to support the empowerment of women in the sector, we thought we’d share our thoughts on the current situation and highlight some fantastic women working around the world to break the barriers that still exist.
The proportion of women in the construction is far too low, under 10% in most countries, and the majority of those staff will be in sales and marketing roles. Diversity in any industry is proven to improve results, and it’s not hard to see how the introduction of women into many construction firms would benefit them greatly. With the sector looking to expand into the future and remedy skilled worker shortages, there has never been a better time to make the workforce more inclusive.
Some of the most serious barriers for women in the industry are slowly being broken down as unions and employers take firm stances on sexism in the industry and bring parental leave in to support working mothers. The idea of being a woman working in construction is also starting to be spread in schools, where before, the idea of being a woman in construction was criticised by teachers and parents alike. At such a formative time in their lives, a helpful voice letting girls know that the construction sector is changing for the better could be invaluable.
We would also be remiss if we didn’t mention the fantastic activists who are working to bring down the barriers that stop women from excelling in construction. The Awesome Women In Construction (AWIC) have been working to support women in the industry with workshops and events for women at every stage in their career, from young women taking their first steps in the sector looking for guidance, to seasoned pros of the scene who are looking to network and share their experiences.
The National Association of Women In Construction is another organisation doing great work, and their focus lies toward education, lobbying and policy. Their annual International Women’s Day scholarship has been key in furthering the careers of many talented women in the industry, helping them take the next step in their career and improve the industry as a whole. The NAWIC also works closely with corporate members and local governments to set up initiatives to support equality and inclusion in the industry.
The fight for equality in construction is far from over, but with the fantastic people fighting for it, every day is a better day to be involved. We’re all part of one family, and we have to be doing what we can to support each other through hardship.