Women in Property and Construction.

Women currently represent only 11% of the construction workforce in the UK? Most of these jobs are office based and only 2% work in manual jobs. Although there are a number of companies working hard on projects to change these statistics, it still confuses me why they are so low in the first place.

An example of a well responded project was the ‘Women in Construction Project’ hosted by ‘Be Onsite’ a charity focused on helping women who are having difficulty in getting into this particular industry. They help by offering women various short construction courses, CSCS training/testing and apprenticeship opportunities on sites across London. Personally I think these projects are great, they are well thought out, well designed and well respected. However I still struggle to understand why the statistics show that there are only 2% of females in the manual labour trade.

Are women worried about the hazards of working within the construction environment? Are they worried about being looked down at? Frowned upon? Or do they simply not want to do it?

There are plenty of hazards when working in the construction trade however my general opinion is that women feel they are not allowed to work within construction, whether it’s because they have been influenced against it due to male domination or because they feel they are inadequate, both are just shy excuses, if females want to work in this sector then they can do.

The Women in Construction Awards is in its eighth year and it provides a showcase for the brightest and the best female achievers in the house building and wider construction industries…….. But how many of you even knew it existed?

Back in the 1920’s Eleanor Roosevelt famously said if a woman wants to be involved in the public….she has to grow skin as thick as the hide of a rhinoceros

Nearly a century later in 2012 Stacey Clifford said “”I don’t have many female colleagues, which is a real shame. I think there were three women at the Christmas party. Working in construction and engineering offers a great career for both sexes. I would advise anyone considering the industry not to be put off by what you think it is like – especially the idea that it’s intimidating and blokey”

These quotations, years apart, show that although the amount of females working in a male orientated work force has developed over these years, they still haven’t progressed as much as people would like and there is no excuse to hide behind being afraid or worried that you will not be accepted because Stacey Clifford has proved that she fits in with Kier just as well as the rest of the men in her team.

Although I wear a headset instead of a hard hat, I work in an office and not on a building site, this doesn’t mean that I don’t still worry about how the male sex may perceive me as I talk about repairs and maintenance like it’s something I have been involved in all my life. I understand what it is like for ladies to get respect, in what has always been classed as a ‘man’s world.’

To the ladies in the industry, please feel free to contact me, as The Property Recruitment Company are in the early preparation stage of creating a panel and guest speakers for a series of Vlogs focusing on women in property/construction. You have immersed yourselves in the industry, you deserve to share your story and inspire others, we want you to share the culture of your work place, your predictions on the industry and where your think it is heading also to gather information on the role you play within your team and company and how you have made it your own through the time you have been there.

 

By Jenni White

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