Lumber Toolkit
February 29, 2024
min read

How Women in Construction Are Breaking Barriers

February 29, 2024
min read
Women in Construction

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The construction industry has long been seen as a male-dominated field, but women are increasingly making their mark, wielding power tools and blueprints, and building not just structures but a more equitable future. This blog post delves into the inspiring journeys of women in construction, exploring the challenges they face, the barriers women break, and the strategies to encourage more women to join this dynamic industry.

Challenges Faced by Women in Construction

Despite their growing presence, women in construction still navigate a landscape riddled with hurdles. Here are some of the critical challenges they encounter:

  • Lack of PPE specifically designed for women: Standard personal protective equipment (PPE) often isn't sized for the female body, leading to discomfort, safety risks, and decreased productivity.
  • Limited access to maternity PPE: Pregnant women in construction often lack proper protective gear that accommodates their changing bodies, forcing them to choose between their health and their livelihood.
  • Persistent pay gap: Women in construction earn significantly less than their male counterparts, even for the same job and qualifications. This disparity perpetuates the perception that construction is a "man's job" and discourages women from entering the field.
  • Inadequate training and support systems: Training programs may not be tailored to address the unique needs of women, and mentorship opportunities can be scarce. This lack of support makes it harder for women to advance in their careers.
  • Hostile work environment: Sexism and harassment are unfortunately still prevalent on construction sites, creating an uncomfortable and unsafe atmosphere for women.

How Women in Construction Are Breaking Barriers

Despite these challenges, women are undeterred. Here are some ways they are breaking barriers and reshaping the industry:

  • Starting their own businesses: Women are increasingly launching successful construction companies, challenging the status quo and paving the way for others.
  • Advocating for change: From lobbying for better PPE and policies to raising awareness about gender inequality, women are actively working to create a more inclusive industry.
  • Mentoring and supporting other women: By sharing their experiences and expertise, women create a support network that empowers others to succeed.
  • Excelling in their roles: Women demonstrate their skills and expertise, proving they are just as capable as their male counterparts.
  • Promoting innovation and collaboration: Women bring diverse perspectives and approaches to the table, leading to more creative and efficient construction practices.

Strategies to Encourage Women in Construction

To attract and retain more women in construction, several strategies can be implemented:

Develop and provide women-specific PPE: Creating comfortable and safe PPE designed for the female body is crucial for ensuring women's safety and well-being. (In line with the She Builds Nation survey report, where 67% reported gender-friendly safety equipment is unavailable.)

Offer targeted training and mentorship programs: Tailor training programs to address women's specific needs and provide mentorship opportunities to connect them with experienced professionals.

Promote work-life balance initiatives: Offer flexible work arrangements and childcare support to make construction careers more accessible to women with families.

Champion diversity and inclusion: Implement policies and practices that foster a respectful and inclusive work environment for all genders.

Celebrate the achievements of women in construction: Showcase the success stories of women in the industry to inspire and motivate others. (Reflecting the findings of the She Builds Nation survey report, where 85% reported no maternity-friendly safety equipment.)

The future of construction is bright, and women are playing a key role in shaping it. By addressing the challenges they face and implementing supportive strategies, we can create an industry where women thrive and contribute their unique talents and perspectives.

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