When it comes to Australia’s construction sector, 88% or more of all workers are men. It comes as no surprise that construction is one of our country’s more heavily male-dominated industries, as it is worldwide.
Take a look at these figures of female construction workforce participation across the globe and what Germany is planning to boost female participation:
- UK: female participation rate in construction sits at about 14%, while trades is lower at 3%.
- EU: female participation rate in construction is at 12% (Denmark 25%, Sweden 18%)
- Germany has instigated a quota system to be implemented from 2016 onwards which stipulates construction companies must work towards 30% female board member representation.
2 Benefits of Increasing Women’s Involvement in Construction
1. Research from various industry sectors has shown boards which include women representatives outperform male-only boards time and time again.
2. Another body of research has concluded that a more equal and diverse workforce encourages the discussion and of a wider range of opinions and innovative, productive ideas.
Why are Women under Represented in Construction?
The reasons for female under-representation are complex and varied. The research points to factors which have contributed a lot to discouraging women from taking up construction careers:
1. A very masculinised culture
2. Hidden and open discrimination in the workplace
3. Less networking opportunities
4. Cultures which promote working long hours
5. Unconscious bias & stereotypes about females being unsuitable for such labour
Recent research also shows women working in construction are less likely to ask for a promotion, find less role models to aspire to and encounter informal and formal employment practices which are a barrier to their career progression.
Female Construction Stats
- When it comes to trades, the female participation rate sits at a measly 2%.
- It jumps up to 14% for management and professional construction positions.
- But women are dropping out of the sector almost 39% quicker than men.
- Men dominate the most in Building Services at 93%, as well as in Building Structure Services at 92%.
- Women are represented less and less the further down the chain you go. Their representation is worst in small construction firms.
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