gender equality women in construction.

Randstad CPE surveyed more than 5,500 people from the construction, property, engineering and rail industries to find out why so few women become managers.

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industry reputation.

In the past the construction industry has had a reputation of being ‘male dominated’ and lacking female representation across all levels, particularly in senior management. But, times are changing, and all businesses understand the need and benefits to having a diverse workforce.

The Randstad ‘women in construction’ campaign aims to identify the issues that the industry has previously faced and highlight the tremendous progress that is being made. If you’re interested in a career in construction, take a look at the various construction jobs that we have available.

closing the gender pay gap.

Randstad found 43% of businesses do not monitor the difference between men and women's pay.

read all about it

inspiring women.

Just under half (49%) of respondents said they have never worked with a female construction manager.

find out why

an inside view.

  • Julie Harris, site manager
    Has the construction industry changed in your 20 years of service?

    It has changed for the better. It has changed the image for construction. When I started I think I was the only female site manager around. The bigger companies don’t want to be seen as they used to. The wolf whistling has stopped for example but attitudes on site still remain and it’ll take a few years to bridge the gap.

    Have you ever felt you were discriminated against?

    I didn’t have as many problems in county council but you can’t change attitudes on site - I do still get the odd subcontractor, you can tell instantly anyone who isn't going to like the seat you’re sat in because you’re a woman. It is rare but it still happens.

    What are some of the issues that are still within the industry?

    “There’s a big divide still. The industry lacks and doesn’t tend to push women. I have more qualifications than most but I won’t be pushed. Women in construction are not promoted half as much as they should be. They are more often office based but those in that environment are not pushed as much. As well as this, the industry isn’t advertised enough from a school age"

  • Pam Sherwood, H&S manager

    How do you think the industry sees women?  

    It has a lot to learn still. Men have been so used to being the dominating gender in the industry, they may feel a little bit threatened. The industry has a deeply rooted culture that is difficult to change and we are some years away from equality.

    What needs to change in the industry?

    We need to make light of the certain issues or situations that arise. Then it goes back to culture and sowing seeds within that culture for a sustainable working environment going forward for everyone. Women also need to build rapport and relationships with those they are working with. In my role everything is about trust so I need to build trusting relationships with the men and women I work with in the industry.

    Has the industry improved in your time in it?

    Stigmas around women in construction have absolutely improved in the six and a half years I’ve been around it. There are enough events and campaigns like women in engineering, rail WICE (Women in construction and engineering awards), all to help drive the solution. The door is definitely open.

  • Angela Carney, director and H&S consultant
    43% don’t monitor gender pay gaps in their organisations, does this statistic surprise you?

    I feel the bigger question is what is making employers pay women less in the first place? As a competent manager, you should be fully aware of any disparity in pay between male and female staff. The question is why, in 2018, are managers deliberately paying women less? What possible, acceptable reason is there for this? The accountability needs to fall into the hands of line managers and those in leadership roles.

    On average 1 in every 5 board members is a woman - what could increased equality bring to the industry?

    Women bring a different skill set - not better, different. In many ways construction is still very much stuck in the last century with regards to its efficiency in planning, managing and organising. It is my opinion after 28 years working in the construction industry, that until we bring in more women who, we won't improve the industry in these areas. Too many areas of construction are still too much of an ‘old boys network'.

    More than ¾ women (76%)  believe they have been passed over for promotion and ⅕ (20%) of clients have never promoted a woman to a senior position. Why?

    Some women are being passed over for promotion due to discrimination - clear and simple. Trying to uncover the truth about why these women are being overlooked by hiring managers isn’t so clear cut. We need to address the issues and the fears surrounding promoting women into senior positions. I can only assume it is fear that stops them from allowing female progression, Although I would love to see some research that drills down in to the why.

women in construction.

Randstad CPE surveyed more than 5,500 people from the construction, property, engineering and rail industries to find out why so few women become managers.

At a time when equality and diversity is making leaps forward, construction is playing catch up. Companies need to band together to build an environment that nurtures and rewards successful, hardworking women to move up the career ladder. Though the number of women entering construction is slowly rising, retention is a key area that needs development. Organisations that cannot retain, develop and enhance their female workforce will be missing out on key skills, new ideas and ways of working to help keep the industry driving forward.

Owen Goodhead, managing director, Randstad CPE

Construction has always had a ‘macho’, male-dominated connotation. In over 10 years of construction recruitment I have seen more and more women entering the industry and have seen women promoted into senior positions, which is refreshing as it shows the industry is beginning to remove barriers. Businesses need to analyse why women would leave the industry. Most importantly, we all need to make sure that construction is a career path that both women and men enjoy being a part of.

Sarah Sidey, head of strategic accounts, Randstad CPE
take a look

women in engineering.

The engineering industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK. Women, however, still only make up a small proportion of the workforce.

download our report

women in rail.

Women make up 16% of the rail industry. Read three ways women in rail identified disruption in the sector. 

discover more

want to read the full women in construction report?

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5 ways to improve construction.

How to make a difference and make construction a more appealing sector to work in.

read article

where are female role models?

By 2020 more than a quarter (26%) of positions in the industry are expected to be filled by women.

read article

getting women into STEM.

Not so long ago, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) were seen as ‘men’s subjects’.

read article