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Women In Construction Week 2024: The State of Women in UK Construction

1st March 2024

While the UK construction industry is seeing a rise in women’s participation, significant strides still need to be made to achieve true gender equality. Here’s a snapshot of the current landscape:

Representation: Women make up 15% of the construction workforce, with 340,000 individuals currently employed in the sector. This number is steadily growing, with 37% of new construction workers being women.

Leadership: While 16% of senior management positions are held by women, this progress is unevenly distributed. The majority of women, 81%, are still concentrated in administration and design roles, while only 1% work in skilled trades.

Challenges: The industry continues to grapple with a gender pay gap, with women earning up to a third less than their male counterparts. Additionally, 72% of women have reported experiencing gender discrimination at work.

Ownership: Despite these challenges, women are increasingly taking ownership within the industry, with 13% of construction firms now being women-owned.

National Women in Construction Week is a timely reminder of the need for continued efforts to:

  • Encourage more girls and women to consider careers in construction: This can be achieved through targeted outreach programs, highlighting the diverse and rewarding career paths available.
  • Break down gender stereotypes surrounding the industry: Addressing misconceptions about the physical demands and educational requirements of construction jobs can help attract a wider talent pool.
  • Promote equal opportunities and combat discrimination: Implementing clear policies and fostering a culture of inclusivity are crucial steps towards creating a more equitable workplace.
  • Invest in training and mentorship programs: Equipping women with the necessary skills and providing them with role models can empower them to thrive in skilled trades and leadership positions.

By acknowledging the current state of women in construction and working collaboratively towards a more inclusive future, the industry can unlock its full potential and benefit from the diverse perspectives and talents of all its members.

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