23 Mar Women in Construction: Fighting the Bias
Women’s rights and gender equality are important topics on the global agenda these times. However, this doesn’t mean that everything has been solved: there’s still a huge wage gap and gender bias in almost every industry. Even though there’s no doubt that awareness is being raised towards these issues, there’s still a lot that has to be done. The need for policies that guarantee diversity, equality of opinions and safe work spaces for all must not be ignored by any sector anymore. The construction industry is not an exception: the need to fight sexism and provide a better workplace and future for women in construction must become a priority.
Probably the most immediate aspect that we can analyze in this matter is the inherent preconceptions and stereotypes that are behind the inequality in the construction industry.
It has been traditionally assumed that physical efforts are exclusive to male workers, and that women’s abilities are not compatible with those needed in construction. This goes beyond the mere construction site: engineers, architects and project managers are also predominantly male throughout the world.
This proves an unacceptable bias: there’s very few women making the big decisions in the industry, as well as executing them on site.
As we know, the construction industry is one of the most prominent and active ones globally, which translates to an important lack of opportunities for female professionals.
To have diverse workplaces does not only benefit employees, but also the industry itself. Projects involving more diverse crew have proven to come up with more innovative solutions and more creative approaches to problems, as well as a higher rate of productivity and a motivating workplace. This also proves the company’s commitment to these time’s needs and claims, and to a wider sense of sustainability that involves social impact.
Authorities must also get involved in the solution: the creation of policies that provide more diverse and equal workplaces will turn this into a reality, more than something we long for. In Australia, for example, large companies, with more than one hundred employees, are required to report the composition of their workforce in order to create better opportunities for all.
It’s important to always keep in mind that this is not a matter of talent or abilities: it’s our responsibility to create a better industry for all, where the best professionals find a place to apply their knowledge while collaborating and learning from a diverse field.
Tell us, have you implemented any measures to guarantee diversity in your projects? What do you think of this issue?
Where are all the women? Why 99% of construction site workers are male, The Guardian
“Women and “Ideal” Women”: The Representation of Women in the Construction Industry, Springer Link
Women in Construction, United States Department of Labor