New campaign aims to attract more women into construction

THE Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched its ‘Spotlight on…women in construction’ campaign to challenge age-old perceptions and attract more females into the sector.

The Scheme surveyed over 1000 people to find out why women still only represent 11% of the construction industry workforce.

The findings revealed that 94% of respondents agreed the industry would benefit from employing more women, 76% said there are no construction jobs which only men can do, and 74% said there should not be quotas for hiring women into construction.

CCS said it is clear that although some results “appear encouraging”, there is still a huge amount to be done, particularly in addressing sexism and changing “misguided perceptions” of what a career in construction offers to women.

The campaign highlights examples of best practice, case studies from women working across the industry, legal requirements and links to organisations encouraging women to work in construction.

Michèle Dix, managing director for Crossrail 2 said, “Women are still underrepresented at present but I think we are starting to move in the right direction. We need to recognise the need for more flexible working arrangements, especially if we are to encourage women back after taking time off for children.

“I think there are lots of opportunities out there and one message I would give to my fellow women colleagues is “go for them!”. Be confident in your own abilities. The industry has so much to offer.”

Victoria Betts, site manager for Higgins Construction added, “In the time I have been working in the industry there has definitely been an increase in the amount of females working in it. The Considerate Constructors Scheme has been a big driving force in this as it insists on facilities for females that previously would not have been in place.”

CCS chief executive Edward Hardy said, “Thank you to everyone who has contributed to ‘Spotlight on…women in construction’. The Campaign provides a must-read set of resources for organisations and individuals who would like to improve their standards of considerate construction – with the aim of driving greater equality, diversity and inclusion throughout our industry.

“Not only is it imperative that standards must be raised in this area, in order to help encourage more women into the industry, but a more equal and diverse workforce also brings greater collaboration, creative thinking and more inclusive workplaces. This can only be a positive step in helping to improve the image of the UK and Irish construction industries.”