Women Into Construction
We are here to celebrate and promote women in the construction industry. We aim to bring you inspirational case studies, career progression pathways and more to help all women across the globe enter the construction industry.
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Watch: Why Women Are Choosing Careers In Construction
Women in Construction for every 87 men
Women working in construction in the uk
Celebrating Women In Construction and Trades
In the UK, only 13% of the construction industry is made up of women. That may seem a stark contrast to the 87% of men that dominate the industry but it is a trend that is changing in favour of more balance. Women are just as well skilled and equipped to undertake the jobs that many men fulfill in the sector – although there is a higher proportion of women in senior positions too.
We want to help promote construction as a viable career path for all women and see will regularly bring you our latest news, views and insights to help more women enter this exciting career.
You can read our most latest news below:
There was a debate in our office last week about whether window sills (or window cills – but that’s another debate altogether) were indoors or outdoors. In the trade, most of us would know a window sill to be the sill of the window on the outside of a property. However, it turns out that many people call the internal part of a window ledge a window sill. These are commonly referred to as window boards.
This did get us to thinking though, and so we wanted to find some case studies of women in construction who work in joinery and specifically work on internal window sills.
We put a request out through our social media channels and had some fantastic examples brought to our attention of women in this industry. The first, Maggie who works part time for B and Q in East London and also runs her own part time woodwork and joinery business was particularly impressive. At the age of 56 she has taken her part time business from a hobby to turning over 6 figures a year and much of it comes in the way of bespoke furniture, skirting boards and window sills (boards).
Maggie stated “most people do tend to refer to window boards as window sills and it is an area of DIY that many people just don’t want to tackle. Bay windows in particular can be a little troublesome and it is something that we specialise in. We offer oak, pine and MDF boards and get them direct from the manufacturer unless the customer wishes to supply them.”
Maggie is just one example of women taking the construction and home refurbishment industry by the scruff of the neck. She attributes her success to working irregular hours and accepting niche jobs that bigger firms just don’t want to take on.
We had another response from Manchester based Vicky. She told us she spent years running the marketing and admin side of her husbands window fitting business and decided to set up a sister company that focused purely on window boards and skirting boards. She tweeted us and said “I realised that people were having these windows fitted which looked fantastic but their window boards were not up to scratch. I asked my husband to speak to his clients and gauge interest in having window sills fitted – a lot of them said yes so I started looking in to it more.
These are just two examples of women who have decided to focus on a niche joinery service and have made great strides with it. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a niche area to succeed but what these women have in common is a keen eye to spot an opportunity and a desire and hunger to follow that through by providing a top quality service.
If you have any examples of women who are excelling in joinery, carpentry or general construction we’d love to hear about them and feature them on our page. If so, get in touch using the contact form on our contact page and we will be in touch.
Edit: We had a lovely email from a double glazing company in Solihull who informed us that they have female joiners as part of their window installation team. She said that customers often comment on the skill and professionalism shown by the women and although she didn’t go on to say their customers thought the women did a better job we are pretty sure they are more than happy with the performance – keep up the good work and keep your stories coming.
Working at construction sites can be hazardous. Workers have to go through lots of safety training, but still, the number of accidents is high in this sector. Besides the health and safety issues that all construction workers face, there are some issues that prevent women from working in this industry.
Personal protective equipment
Women get improperly fitting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Personal Protective Clothing (PPC). This compromises their personal safety. The PPE given to female workers should depend on the female’s body measurement. The PPE should fit properly so that the women workers can get protection. Employers must choose various sizes of PPE and PPC suitable for women.
There are not enough sanitary facilities available at the construction site. This makes women workers difficult to work for the whole day. Women often avoid drinking water while at work so that they don’t need to use any sanitary facility. This results in health issues, including bladder and kidney infections. Employers should provide accessible sanitary facilities at the construction site, especially for the women workers. These facilities must be well maintained.
Chemicals, like lead, affect’s the worker’s health. It particularly affects pregnant women. It is important to control the exposure of lead and other harmful chemicals. If pregnant women stand for a long period of time, then it can lead to preterm birth. Strenuous activities like climbing and lifting can be a problem during the later stages of pregnancy.
The employers should try to do something about these problems. They can keep PPE and PPC in sizes that are appropriate for women, have good sanitary facilities at the site and let the women workers do non-strenuous works during the time of their pregnancy. These changes in the workplace will encourage more women to enter the construction industry.
Attitudes Towards Recruitment
The language used in recruitment is often male biased and this possibly leads to less women applying for positions that appear to be geared towards male applications. Although all official job advertisements have to be in line with equal opportunity law, there are still many grey areas that can lead to less female applications.
Unless a job can only be performed by a man then we would like to see the recruitment processes revised.
According to statistics, only 13% of the construction industry consists of women and only 1% of these women actually work on construction sites. Experts believe that more women should join this industry. Here are five reasons why.
Well paid job
The construction industry is growing and the jobs here are well paid. In many countries, it is the best paying industry. So, women can get a chance to earn more by getting a job in this sector.
Passion for building
Sometimes, people have a great passion for building stuff. You can apply your creativity to transform your idea into something real. So, the construction industry has lots of scopes to demonstrate your creative skills.
In the construction industry, there is an opportunity for career progression. You won’t be stuck into one job role for a long time. You can move to better roles within the industry. For example, you can start your career as an apprentice, and within months you can become a supervisor.
The skills you learn in the construction industry can be applied in other sectors as well. You can also use them in your home. So, you have the scope to work in other sectors in case you want to move away from the construction industry.
Feeling of achievement
The feeling of being able to build something is amazing. You will feel good about the fact that you have created something. You will get the feeling of achievement very often when you work in the construction industry.
By joining the construction industry you will not only help this sector to advance but also get into a very exciting career. You will have great satisfaction with your job in this sector.
I’m not the woman president of Harvard. I’m the president of Harvard.