Is a woman’s place on a building site?
A growing number of women are pulling on their boots and hi-vis as they take on new roles in the construction sector.
Women make up approximately 12.5% of the UK’s construction industry workforce – increasing by 1.5% from 2016. In an industry dominated by males, the dinosaurs of construction are almost extinct, and the values of the industry have changed greatly as construction celebrates diversity of ability, ethnicity, and gender. However, slow growth confirms that the perception of the industry is not changing at the same developmental rate as the sector itself.
That said, a survey in 2019 suggests that 72% of women in construction have experienced a form of gender discrimination. Women have reported fears of on-site sexism, aggression, gender pay-gap and with few female role models in the industry, are reluctant to apply for the industries open vacancies.
To change this perception and encourage more women to join, construction companies must better regulate inequality and diversity among their teams – with a clear commitment to making diversity in construction a reality. A new generation of construction professionals may be able to lead the way to diversity in construction as the industry has also experienced a positive increase in the volume of competent female site managers, engineers, quantity surveyors, and women in senior management.
Senior management among the construction industry is still largely male dominated with few influential female leaders. Panthera realises that to attract more women to its company and the industry generally, that well-defined senior female role models will be required. The company boasts a 50:50 male and female ratio among its senior management team and has now set the ambition of achieving this same statistic across all levels of the business by 2025.
The construction industry must urgently seek to improve the alarmingly low volume of tradeswomen on site and applying for new trade roles (currently under 1%). One way the company hope to achieve this is by partnering with local educator, East Surrey College, to provide young male and female talent opportunities to work in the construction industry.
Neal James, Managing Director of Panthera Group is overseeing the programme:
“Panthera Group is thriving in a tough market. We are seeing huge take up for our net zero EnviroHoard™ system and the business is well on track to exceed its growth plans for a second consecutive year! There is a number of different factors that is driving this growth, but for me, a key factor is the people we have in the business and in particular the women. We are proud and lucky to have some amazing women in our business; in our commercial team we have Shannon, Kirstie and Andrea, in administration we have Sally, Amalia and Keren and in sales/marketing and recruitment we have Lucie and Julie. Without these women, our business would be weaker (and a much more boring place to work)”.
Panthera celebrates diversity in construction and promises to provide safe and happy working environments free of gender inequality, pay gap or inequality.
Here’s to strong women in construction. May we know them. May we encourage them. May we work with them. May we work for them.
To find out more about vacancies with Panthera, please contact the company’s recruitment manager Julie Watts – firstname.lastname@example.org