Calling all Women
Construction Needs YOU!
The construction industry has a wide range of roles, with both technical and non-technical skills, contributing to over £92 billion to the UK economy. Despite all of this there is still a low intake of women into the industry.
Women only make up 11% of employees with just 1% of the workers on site being women. Women with specialist skills like roofing and bricklaying are so low it’s unmeasurable. The UK has the lowest proportion in Europe of female engineers. Only 14% of entrants to engineering and technology 1st degree courses and only 3.4% taking up engineering apprenticeships. It is sad to see as women have had roles in construction and architecture since the 17th Century. Lady Ana Clifford (1590-1676) was one of the first women to take a role on the Westmoreland Estates where she looked after the building project, controlling designs and building programming. Creating a pathway for women architects, planners and constructors throughout history, that have changed housing standards and won architectural awards.
So why are women not joining this industry? This may be down to the workplaces and the culture that surrounds them. With a male dominated workforce, construction sites and areas for work have not needed to cater for the needs of women. Also, that some men are still behind on what is socially acceptable in the workplace. These however, can change and the only way they can is having a more inclusive workforce, not just women, but from having employees of any gender, race or religion.
There are however, more women in top positions. With more women being in higher positions, this will help change any biases there may be when hiring or promoting within the company. It also means that the more visible women are in these roles, the more likely it is to inspire and encourage other women to join as they know that this company or workplace is well-rounded.
Training is a big part of this too, as if we train and encourage women and girls to be a stronger part of this industry and have as many equal opportunities to progress as their male counterparts, then we will see more and more women become part of this industry. The government have also taken up the challenge of addressing issues in the workforce by asking employees to publish their differences.
There are also companies going even further to help inspire women into the workforce. Business like the Pinkspiration who launched in 2011 offers construction skills for young women and girls looking to go into the industry. The ‘Class of Your Own’ programme to raise awareness of how young people can learn about and become involved in construction. There are also the Women in construction Magazine, which highlights women in the industry and wider topics or issues they have come across. These all help to create a more supportive and community feel around the women who are in the construction industry. There are groups such as the WIBSE (Women in Building Services Engineering (Network)) and WISE (a campaign to promote women in science, technology and engineering). Which have been set up to support women so they have access to developing their skills and techniques, addressing barriers and resistances they may face at work.
At Free2Learn, we want to inspire women to go into construction and help this growing industry. We provide the skills, training and CSCS card you will need to start your career in this industry. If you are looking to go into construction then go to: https://free2learn.org.uk/construction-courses/ and register today and start your journey to having a rewarding career in this industry.