Tackling the Gender Gap in Construction
A report from RICS back in March stated that there is still a 20% gender pay gap in construction, which is a definite improvement on figures from 2018 (which came in at a gap of 36%), but this still needs to be addressed.
Attracting women to the construction sector, one that has been traditionally seen as a “male area”, is something that has been the focus of various construction groups and bodies for years, with 2019 being pegged as the year to really focus on closing this divide, both in pay and the amount of females who choose construction as a career.
Focus on Attracting Women to Construction
There are a number of different areas being focused on this year and as part of an ongoing effort to open the industry up to both sexes, including:
• Open Doors 2019 (Mar 16-21)
The fifth annual Open Doors Week 2019 happened in March and gave equal opportunities for all genders to get behind the scenes on a wide range of construction sites across the UK. It was delivered by Build UK and the CITB, in association with CCS, Construction News and CSCS.
• Women in Construction Summit 2019 (May 16)
This was held this month in London with over 30 speakers across the construction sector, including Sarah Beale (CEO at CITB) and Karen Brookes (Director of People & Infrastructure at Sir Robert McAlpine. The focus of this event was to inspire women to undertake or boost construction as their career, repaint the male dominated image of the industry and push the growing community of like-minded professionals in all areas of the construction sector.
• UK Construction Week (Oct 8-10)
The UK Construction Week event is dedicated to knowledge sharing for the whole industry, encouraging visitors of all ages and genders to ‘discover, develop, discuss and do business’. UKCW Role Models for 2019 will be revealed, CPD seminars will be held throughout the events and the innovation zone will be open to explore the latest technologies and products that are ushering construction into the next decade.
• London Build 2019 (Nov 28-28)
This event is one of the biggest construction shows for London and will feature over 500 speakers. This year, like last year, there will be a dedicated session for Women in Construction, free to attend for all visitors with experts on hand to discuss opportunities for women in construction, diversity and equality.
Whether 2019 is the year to close the pay gap further remains to be seen, but it is certain that more women are choosing construction as a career, especially with the advent of new technologies that encourage technically minded people into the area (such as the use of drones, robotic assistants and AR).