What is it about?

The construction industry in the United Kingdom employs around 6.5% of the total workforce. But attracting more women in professional roles in this industry has been difficult. The number of women in the industry has been relatively static since the 1990s with most working in administrative or secretarial roles. Moreover, previous research has shown that women in their 40s usually leave the construction industry. Inflexible working conditions and a lack of opportunities to climb the career ladder are responsible for this. Programs to increase the number and diversity of women have not helped either. This study looks at how women and men in the construction industry assess their own roles and self worth, with a specific focus on women’s perceptions across different career stages and how that impacts retention. Young women and men were found to have similar levels of self worth. But it declined sharply for women above the age of 40. Women’s career paths tend to be zigzag. Men, on the other hand, had a more stable career path. Both men and women felt that flexible working arrangements, transparent promotion criteria, and return to work training are important to retain women. Women also preferred the option of mentoring partnerships and maternity benefits. In addition, both sexes said that it is important to hire and promote workers on merit.

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Why is it important?

Understanding how women look at their own professional role and career opportunities can help in ensuring continued gender diversity. The present study provides important insights for this. These insights can help in creating policies and work environments that retain women and their skills. KEY TAKEAWAY: Women in the construction industry have an unsteady career path and diminished self worth in their 40s. This must be handled by ensuring gender equality and equity. Creating newer strategies to improve the ways of work can help in achieving this. This research relates to the following Sustainable Development Goals: • SDG 5 - Gender Equality • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gender in the Construction Industry: Literature Review and Comparative Survey of Men’s and Women’s Perceptions in UK Construction Consultancies, Journal of Management in Engineering, March 2020, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE),
DOI: 10.1061/(asce)me.1943-5479.0000731.
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