women in the UK construction industry in 2016

Our latest report reveals that women are expected to make up a quarter (26%) of the UK’s construction workforce by 2020.

However, although companies are doing more to encourage women to join the industry, there is still a looming skills gap which needs to be addressed and 41% of women still believe men are paid more.

read the report

women filling more senior roles

In 2005, 6% of women in the construction industry held senior management positions or directorships. This has now jumped to 16%. 7% of female construction employees now earn over £75,000 per year.

Quantity surveyors now represent 12% of all women in construction. This is despite the role being in high demand on the back of a reinvigorated industry. Quantity surveyors can now command a contracting salary of up to £70,000, according to the latest Randstad CPE Salary Survey.

salary survey >

10 year progress

Our research falls in line with official data from the Office for National Statistics, which puts the proportion at 19.7% as of September 2014.

Significant progress has been made in the last decade in encouraging women into the industry with the majority of women reporting that their employer actively encourages female recruitment. 


find out more about the UK skill shortage >

"By employing women at all levels and using their extensive abilities, any skills gaps will hopefully be avoided."

Owen Goodhead, MD of Randstad CPE.

watch the interview >

discrimination and prejudice

In 2005 66% of women had experienced some form of discrimination. Now, in 2015, this has grown to 74% reporting discrimination or prejudice at some point in their working life.

Of those who have experienced discrimination, the greatest proportion said this took the form of inappropriate comments or behaviour from male colleagues. A small but significant 7% reported the same from female colleagues.

Despite some continued prejudice, an overwhelming 76% of women would actively recommend a career in construction to their daughter, niece or female friend.

women in construction

  • 76%
    would recommend construction
  • £39,000
    average salary for women in construction
  • 26%
    working in construction by 2020
  • architect
    most common job title

cultural revolution

Women now report their employers are tackling the shortage of diversity in construction more actively. In 2005 an overwhelming 79% said that their employer had no special focus on recruiting more women – but as of 2015 this has improved to now stand at just 29% of employers who lack an active stance towards recruiting more women. 

“Many construction companies have realised the value of skilled female workers and are actively recruiting and supporting women." - Owen Goodhead, MD

Helen Mason, General Counsel

"the key driver for women working in engineering is the nature of the project and the intellectual challenge."

read more from Helen >

Fiona, a senior commercial manager

"there are opportunities for women but until the industry promotes a better work / life balance, we won’t see a significant surge in women taking on more senior roles"
read more from Fiona >

find out more about our research into women in construction

read the full report

women at Randstad CPE

97% of female CPE employees would recommend construction recruitment.

A survey condusted on female Randstad CPE employees revealed that only 3% would not recommend working in construction recruitment to another female friend or family member.

survey results >

Women in Construction Awards

Wednesday 23rd March 2016
The Palace Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester

Women In Construction Awards #2

Women In Construction Awards #3

Women In Construction Awards #4

Women In Construction Awards #5

Women In Construction Awards #6

Women In Construction Awards #1