Can Women Bridge the Gap?

Can Women Bridge the Gap?

Many have views on the skills shortage in the construction industry and most have opinions on how to address it. One such suggestion of how to bridge the gap is to recruit more women into construction. With women making up just 14.1% of the construction work force, tapping the potential is critical to the future of our industry.

The need to tackle diversity issues is acknowledged by companies of all sizes but limited progress is being made, and in general the focus is on apprenticeships and graduate schemes. It is also clear that house construction struggles with its image, which limits its appeal to some younger recruits and young women in particular.

A recent CIC report states that 14.1% of the overall professional construction workforce is female (representing 207,564 individuals), a figure which is up from the 13.5% reported in 2009. The report also highlights a notable increase in the proportion of females in the 25 and below age group (1,047 compared with 3,705 for males in the same age group), highlighting that the industry needs to focus on retention as well as attracting applicants initially.

A lot has been written about why women and young people are not attracted into the industry. There are encouraging signs of a more balanced distribution in some occupations – women dominate in sales and service roles, and represent a quarter of professional and technical occupations. However, women are seriously under-represented in skilled, technical and managerial roles across the construction industry.



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