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Is the construction industry a place for women?

21st July 2015

The number of females at work in the UK has increased by more than 20% over the last two decades and women now account for almost 50% of the entire UK workforce. Unfortunately this representation is not reflected by the construction industry. Even though the sector is a major employer and is woefully short of skilled workers, women account for only 11% of the total workforce – and a staggeringly low 1% within the manual trades.

In Europe, the construction industry equates to 10% of total employment and employs around 14 million people, yet only 12% of people employed within the sector are women.

woman-in-construction

(Image source: http://www.cnplus.co.uk/Pictures/web/u/v/e/Gender-balance-by-sector-ons-data-on-percentage-of-women-in-each-industry.jpg)

As the graphic above demonstrates the construction industry has the lowest percentage of women employees. This realisation left us at Simian questioning what the construction industry as whole is doing wrong and what changes are needed to encourage more women to want to pursue a career within construction. Female delegates passing through our Training Centres are few and far between, but the CISRS scheme is set up to be  openly accessible by all, regardless of gender, so it stands to reason that the factors discouraging female delegates from entering the industry are deep-rooted.