Closing the gender gap in construction
Over the last five years, I have been running business and leadership training specific to the UK construction sector, with a small percentage of those being women.
Is the construction sector still a “man’s world”? Well, the answer broadly is yes…but that is changing slowly. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, women made up just 13% of the construction workforce in the UK in 2020.
This is a significant gender gap, and a mix of factors contributes to the underrepresentation of women in the industry. These include a historically strong sense of societal expectations and stereotypes around what were deemed suitable or desirable careers for women compared to men.
In addition, many females in this country still need to gain awareness about the vast depth of career opportunities in the trades and construction sectors, so they may never consider it an option. As a result, women are significantly under-represented, particularly in leadership and executive roles.
Those women who venture into the construction sector, or other ‘non-traditional’ roles, often need more support, development opportunities and mentorship when they enter their part.
“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart.
There is a noticeable increase in women entering the construction industry. Most people are agreed that it’s a change for the better, one that will lead to a more positive, sustainable and prosperous future for the construction sector.
To survive and thrive, the industry must address the gender gap and promote diversity and inclusion. A more diverse workforce can bring a broader range of perspectives and experiences, leading to increased innovation and success.
Efforts are underway to address this issue and promote diversity and inclusion in the UK construction industry. This includes initiatives to increase awareness about career opportunities in the trades for women, as well as programs that provide mentorship and support networks for women in the industry.
Some companies are also implementing diversity and inclusion training and initiatives to help break the glass ceiling and promote the advancement of women in leadership roles. Although much more needs to be done, specifically around the mindset of the added value women can bring to the table!
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg.
Diversity and inclusion in the construction industry
Promoting diversity and inclusion in the construction industry will help to break the glass ceiling in construction and address the gender gap specifically, which is an important issue that requires leadership at all levels of the organization. Leadership plays a crucial role in setting the company’s tone and culture and can significantly impact the advancement of women in the industry.
“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” – Stephen Covey.
There are a few key ways in which leaders can promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry:
1. Setting a clear vision and commitment to diversity and inclusion: Leaders must communicate their commitment to diversity and inclusion and set clear goals and targets for the organization.
2. Creating an inclusive culture: Leadership can foster an inclusive culture by promoting open communication, valuing diverse perspectives, and providing opportunities for development and advancement for all team members.
3. Providing mentorship and support: Leaders can provide mentorship and support networks for women in the industry and opportunities for professional development and networking.
4. Promoting diversity in hiring and promotions: Leaders can encourage diversity in hiring and promotions by actively seeking out and considering candidates from diverse backgrounds and implementing diversity and inclusion training for managers.
“Diversity is a mix and inclusion is making the mix work.” – Andrés Tapia.
Overall, it’s essential for leaders to proactively and intentionally promote diversity and inclusion in the construction industry. By doing so, they can create a more inclusive, trusting and innovative team or organization and help to break down barriers for women in the industry.
It is not only the right thing to do but will also deliver substantial business benefits.
At the Power Within, we want to help you, as leaders, to embrace this opportunity to positively impact the industry and create a more inclusive and thriving future through our world first: through our Women In Construction: Leading With Motivational Intelligence (MQ).
We want to support women in the construction sector to grow their careers and achieve business success, no matter their starting point in life.
Suppose you are a female within the construction sector or have females looking to develop themselves and the mindset to thrive in the UK construction sector.
Why not be in touch today and see how we can help you build your career in a male-dominated industry and support the sector to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce?
Our first female-only Women In Leadership: Leading With Motivational Intelligence for the UK construction sector kicks off on Friday, 20th January 2023.
The Power Within was created to help people think bigger, be better and achieve more than they ever thought possible in finding business motivation!
All our programmes – including our worlds-first Executive Diploma in Leading With Motivational Intelligence (MQ) and our Business Growth Academy – have been created with passion and commitment to our mission. If you’re a business leader struggling to thrive and be the best you can be…then we can help.
Click the link below to learn more about how we can help you achieve your desired business success.
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