March 7 2023

Women in Construction: Overcoming the Gender Gap in the UK

The construction industry in the UK is a major contributor to the economy, accounting for nearly 7% of the GDP. However, the industry is facing significant challenges, one of which is the lack of women in the workforce. Despite efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, the construction industry is still heavily male-dominated, with women accounting for just 14% of the workforce.


Ageing Workforce and Gender Imbalance

The construction industry in the UK has an ageing workforce, with a large proportion of workers over the age of 50. This has led to concerns about skills shortages, as older workers retire and the industry struggles to attract new talent. With women making up only a small percentage of the workforce, the industry is missing out on a significant pool of potential workers.


Most Popular Construction Roles for Women

While women are underrepresented in the construction industry as a whole, there are some roles that are more popular among women than others. According to the National Careers Service, some of the most popular roles for women in construction include architects, surveyors, project managers, and interior designers. However, these roles still only account for a small proportion of the industry, and more needs to be done to encourage women to consider careers in construction.


Tackling Gender Inequality in the Industry

Tackling gender inequality in the construction industry requires a multi-faceted approach. One of the key challenges is changing the culture within the industry to be more inclusive and welcoming to women. This can be achieved by promoting diversity and inclusion from the top down, ensuring that company policies and practices support gender equality, and providing training and education to help managers and workers understand the value of diversity in the workplace.

Another important step is to encourage more girls and young women to consider careers in construction. This can be done through targeted outreach programmes, such as school visits and career fairs, as well as by providing mentoring and networking opportunities for women who are already working in the industry.


Attracting and Recruiting More Female Construction Workers

One way to attract more women to the construction industry is to promote the benefits of a career in construction. This can include highlighting the opportunities for career growth and development, as well as the potential for good pay and job security. Employers can also take steps to make their workplaces more inclusive and welcoming to women, such as providing flexible working arrangements and ensuring that their recruitment processes are free from bias.

Another key strategy is to promote female role models in the industry. By highlighting the achievements of women who have succeeded in construction, employers can help to inspire and motivate the next generation of female workers. This can be done through targeted marketing campaigns, social media outreach, and by featuring female workers in recruitment material and on the company website.

In conclusion, the construction industry in the UK has a long way to go in terms of promoting gender equality and attracting more women to the workforce. However, with a concerted effort from employers, educators, and policy makers, it is possible to make progress and create a more diverse and inclusive industry. By promoting the benefits of a career in construction, highlighting female role models, and providing training and support for workers and managers, we can help to close the gender gap and ensure that the industry is well-positioned for the future.

Stay up to date

Keep up to date with our latest news and analysis by subscribing to our regular newsletter

To find out about how we process your data, please read our privacy policy.