When you think of construction what comes first to your mind? We mostly visualise groups of hard-working men labouring outdoors.
Working in construction has primarily been perceived as a challenging and demanding career involving rigorous working hours, the physical nature of the work, and most prevalently, the way the industry has been male-dominated. Not much has been spoken about how women in construction can find significant career contentment in a field that predominantly has catered exclusively to men.
Though the construction industry is set to grow further, in recent decades this dynamic industry has revolutionised, with the inclusion of more and more women entering the construction workforce and creating an undeniable impact.
Women in construction are making a difference! But how?
While men have conventionally outshone the construction industry, women today are breaking the barriers and striving towards building productive careers in this evergreen domain. Like men, women feel empowered to improve people’s quality of life whilst working in construction- being engaged in the construction of buildings, engineering projects, or other construction work.
According to Job Outlook, only 13.6% of the current construction workforce in Australia, comprises females, with only 7% working as Construction Managers and 4% as Project Builders.
Despite these appalling low figures, the industry has now opened its doors welcoming women with open arms. Today, a gamut of opportunities galore for women in skilled trades. Whether employed on job sites or in company offices, women are exerting a bigger influence thereby becoming an important asset contributing to the future success of the construction industry. Women are also making an impact through leadership by adopting executive and senior-level positions. Organisations exhibiting greater diversity have proven more profitable and successful, bringing new ideas and approaches to the table. Isn’t that exciting?
Should women work in construction?
From a construction tradeswoman to a construction manager, it takes a lot for a woman to elevate her career in construction and earn her share of dignity. Gone are the days when you rarely spotted women workers at a construction site.
Ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic are leading to acute workforce shortages in construction. With experienced professionals starting to retire and a lack of new entrants to the field, there is a growing demand for skilled women to step into construction. Diverse work, career progression opportunities, and a plethora of construction roles are now accessible to women. As this need rises, there will be more opportunities for high-paying jobs in the booming industry.
Furthermore, when an industry is gender dominated, there is a lack of diversity of thought. Recruiting more women means adding new ideas and innovation to the construction industry.
Minor representation of women in construction doesn’t mean that they aren’t as skilled as men. Construction competencies can be gained by anyone with the right education.
Widen the talent pool
Is construction only for men? Certainly not! In recent times, construction companies more likely than ever before want to leverage the potential of the female workforce. As the industry continues to swell in size, with the entry of women at the leadership level, women construction owners with industry expertise, managing management, from negotiating construction contracts, and handling day-to-day responsibilities, are becoming role models for aspiring women aiming for fruitful careers in construction.
Highlighting women’s contributions can help break down gender biases and negative stereotypes.
Significant reasons for the lower participation of women include inadequate training, irregular working hours, lack of recognition, slow payment, other critical aspects of gender-based violence, and harassment that poses risks to workers. However, advancements in technology and building processes in recent years have eliminated most of these concerns.
Time to take action
Working in the construction industry isn’t without its challenges and obstacles. The gender landscape remains relatively unchanged with men continuing to dominate the industry. Gender diversity and gender bias are two sides of the same coin and the construction industry needs to control this to attain professional parity and sustainability. However, breaking the barrier, and the bias is possible with dedicated efforts.
The construction industry is ready to make job sites safer and sustainable for women employees. Be it a man or a woman, a skilled worker is a strong asset to a construction firm. Site safety measures, flexible working options, and pay quality are sure to attract and retain women without letting go of the precious workforce.
Let’s chip out old attitudes. More women are considering construction careers and that long-held industry perceptions about women in the sector are changing for the better, though slowly.
The Australian government also has pioneered a change by introducing new measures and minimising the gender pay gap to increase women’s representation in construction.
Get qualified with KAL Training
The new-age construction industry requires women to don the mantle of a construction expert and seize the opportunity to change the status quo. The opportunity to move ahead now with a top-down approach is essential for employing and engaging women in the construction sector.
A job in construction demands a thorough understanding of the role and a mature skill set. Many institutes across Australia offer apprenticeships to forge a career path in construction. Are you prepared for a fulfilling career in construction? Take full advantage of the CHC50220 Diploma of Building and Construction from KAL Training.
A career in construction is no longer a dream for women. It’s a sustainable and successful career path in reality.
The current construction workforce recognises diversity and inclusion, generating new avenues for women worldwide and for businesses too. Inclusive industry initiatives have to be implemented extensively to foster women’s talent and reposition the industry for long-term value.
When it comes to breaking the bias pushing the boundaries is a must! Women are now considered equally competent for the job and the insights and inclusiveness that women bring to the construction space are unparalleled in value and scope. Even workplaces turning more responsive and accommodating in terms of the working requirements of working women.
Women working in such a robust industry, is itself a sign of evolving mindsets, waning prejudiced standards, and most prominently a symbol of optimism and inspiration, for the future workforce.
The voices of women in construction are getting fiercer! Women are an untapped well of talent that can make the industry a better place. Interested in making your mark in construction? There’s definitely a place for you here. We encourage you to join KAL Training! Let’s reduce the skills gap and create a more gender-equal workforce.