Why Construction (Still!) Needs More Women

Why Construction (Still!) Needs More Women

This week (4th- 8th of March) is Women in Construction Week, so it’s time we take a look around the room. The fact remains that more women in construction would benefit the industry and society alike.

Many architects note that female end users typically make up half a building’s occupants, so having women’s input in design and building simply makes sense.

Research shows that gender-diverse companies perform better financially too. And as the skills shortage continues, construction’s missing women are more needed than ever.

So, the business case for boosting the participation of women in construction is clear. The trickier part is actually making it happen when the industry remains male-dominated.

In the UK, the construction workforce was 15.8% female from April to June 2023. Though still far lower than the target 50:50 split, this shows a promising 1.2 per cent increase from the previous quarter, with more women entering the field than before the pandemic (12.6%). According to the 2019 analysis by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile of gender diversity outperform those at the bottom quarter by 25%.

Progress may seem slow, but pioneering women is the best way to chip away at assumptions that construction work belongs in the male domain.

UK Research and Innovation estimates that gender equality in the construction industry will take 200 years to achieve at its current rate.

Other barriers persist, of course, like lower pay for women and lack of senior female role models, however, embracing diversity to make site culture safer and more welcoming for all is the key. Because at the end of the day, there’s no reason why gender should determine who gets to design, build and enjoy the fruits of construction labour.

It’s evident that our industry is experiencing a noteworthy evolution, one that extends beyond mere participation to embrace the principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).

At ARV Solutions, we’ve observed a significant shift in female attendance at various industry events, a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of diverse voices and perspectives.

We’re committed to advancing EDI not just internally but also externally, as we strive to incorporate these principles into every facet of our operations. This commitment is exemplified by our practice of inviting clients to share their EDI policies, allowing us to align our messaging with those who share our values.

Attitudes are indeed changing, particularly among our clients in the offsite sector, where there is substantial enthusiasm for embracing EDI initiatives.

This mutual dedication to fostering inclusivity not only enhances our collaborations but also propels the industry towards a more equitable and vibrant future.


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