Women working in construction sector three times more likely to miss out on promotion

Women working in construction sector three times more likely to miss out on promotion

The built environment still has some way to go to achieve gender parity a new report suggests, as women in construction are paid up to 45 percent less than men and are three times more likely to miss out on promotion than men due to perceived gender discrimination. According to the survey by Randstad of more than 5,500 construction workers and 540 employers across all job functions and levels – 75 percent of those passed over for a more senior role were women compared to 25 percent men. The findings  suggests women in the industry typically are not being given the same opportunities to progress as their male counterparts even though almost every respondent (93 percent) said having a female manager either wouldn’t affect their way of working or would in fact have a positive impact. The image of an industry stuck in its ways was not helped by findings that showed nearly half (49 percent) of those questioned had never worked with a female manager. Companies with more than 250 employees will soon be forced to publish details of their gender pay gap. The attempt at transparency comes as the average gender pay gap in construction stands at up to 45 percent in favour of men. But while it is acknowledged the chasm must close, 42 percent of businesses told Randstad they do not actively monitor pay equality.

Skills shortages

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are 29,000 job vacancies in the construction industry and with the full effects of Brexit still unclear companies still seem to be missing an opportunity to look to women to fill leadership roles. Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of women in our survey were not aware of any initiatives that help women progress into senior positions suggesting employers need to improve at offering programmes and encouraging involvement.

Construction firms said that raising the profile of existing female role models is part of the solution to bring more women into construction. Also, more work needs to be done at school level to promote construction as a rewarding and sustainable career path for women.

Owen Goodhead, Managing Director of Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering said: “At a time when equality and diversity is making leaps forward, construction is still playing catch up in some areas. Companies need to band together to build an environment that nurtures and rewards successful, hard working women to move up the career ladder.

“Though the number of women entering construction is slowly rising, retention is a key area that needs development. Organisations that cannot retain, develop and enhance their female workforce will be missing out on key skills, new ideas and ways of working to help keep the industry driving forward.”

View the full report here: