A survey recently carried out by Randstad has revealed that women are three times more likely to miss out on promotion than men due to perceived gender discrimination. A survey of more than 5,500 construction workers and 540 employers across all job functions and levels found 75% of those passed over for a more senior role were women compared to 25% men.
The finding strongly suggests women in the industry typically are not being given the same opportunities to progress as their male counterparts even though almost every respondent (93%) said having a female manager either wouldn’t affect their way of working or would in fact have a positive impact. The image of an industry stuck in its ways was not helped by findings that showed nearly half (49%) of those questioned had never worked with a female manager.
Gender pay gap
Companies with more than 250 employees will soon be forced to publish details of their gender pay gap. The attempt at transparency comes as the average gender pay gap in construction stands at up to 45% in favour of men.
But while it is acknowledged the chasm must close, 42% of businesses told Randstad they do not actively monitor pay equality.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there are 29,000 job vacancies in the construction industry and with the full effects of Brexit still unclear companies still seem to be missing an opportunity to look to women to fill leadership roles.
Nearly three quarters (74%) of women in our survey were not aware of any initiatives that help women progress into senior positions suggesting employers need to improve at offering programmes and encouraging involvement.
Construction firms said that raising the profile of existing female role models is part of the solution to bring more women into construction. Also, more work needs to be done at school level to promote construction as a rewarding and sustainable career path for women.
'Construction playing catch up'
Owen Goodhead, Managing Director of Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering said: “At a time when equality and diversity is making leaps forward, construction is still playing catch up in some areas. Companies need to band together to build an environment that nurtures and rewards successful, hard working women to move up the career ladder.
“Though the number of women entering construction is slowly rising, retention is a key area that needs development. Organisations that cannot retain, develop and enhance their female workforce will be missing out on key skills, new ideas and ways of working to help keep the industry driving forward.”