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February 1, 2018

How gender equality can help fix the construction industry


The below article discusses the gender imbalance in the UK construction sector. I personally am a big advocate of having more women enter into the construction trades and there are some great organizations in Canada including but not limited to:

Women Building Futures

Careers in Construction

Canadian Construction Women

Build Together – CBTU

I welcome all editorial contributions on this topic and others. All you need to do is contact me.

Best Regards,

Arnie Gess, Publisher & Owner

Construction Links Network

Article starts here:

The government-commissioned Farmer Review warned in 2016 that the UK construction industry was “facing challenges that have not been seen before”. In no uncertain terms, it called for major industry-wide change. The “overwhelming risks” foreseen in the review sadly seem to have come to pass.

Major contractor Carillion’s collapse comes shortly after an autumn in which UK construction activity fell at its fastest pace in five years. Studies have found that Brexit could cost the industry £10 billion, while the 2017 government industrial strategy was widely denounced as inadequate to generate real change.

Of the many issues Farmer highlighted, the industry’s resistance to modernisation, along with the “ticking time bomb” that is the ever-widening skills shortage, stand out. The government’s Working Futures report into the future of the country’s labour market predicts hundreds of thousands of vacancies in skilled technical, professional and managerial roles by the early 2020s. One obvious solution is to increase the number of women in the construction industry.

The worst gender balance

The construction sector has the worst gender balance of any, with the UK lagging behind the rest of Europe. Less than 1% of its 800,000 construction and building trades workers are women, and even when you add architects, planners and surveyors it only rises to 18%:

Dillon and Moncaster | Data adapted from ONS figures

Of course, both industry and government have considered this issue. But attempts as far back as the WISE campaign of the 1980s to encourage more girls to consider careers in construction just haven’t worked. While more women are entering the sector, they are leaving just as quickly. The net result is that numbers of women in construction roles have remained more or less static for at least a decade:

Keep reading this article on TheConversation.com