Construction industry needs to be more female-friendly to tackle labour shortage

Construction industry needs to be more female-friendly to tackle labour shortage

Employers in the sector need to develop more open and welcoming working environments in order to bring more female talent into construction, One Way has warned.

The construction and rail recruitment firm estimated that women will make up 26 per cent of the industry workforce by 2020 but a more open and friendly system is needed to encourage women to join the sector. One Way also found that adapting these environments will help to retain more than 265,000 women that currently work in the industry.

Paul Payne, managing director of One Way said: “We’ve been very vocal about the skills shortages that are plaguing the construction and wider engineering industries and, until very recently, the female half of the workforce has been almost entirely overlooked by employers. Thankfully, times have changed and we’re now seeing a healthier pipeline of female talent moving into the sector.

“However, all of this hard work could go to waste if employers don’t think about the impact of the working culture that they’re fostering. Let’s be honest, construction isn’t the most female friendly industry and while a lot of the stereotypes are now outdated, it still has some obstacles to overcome in order to become a truly inclusive industry.”

One Way highlighted the need for schemes such as the SPEC programme and government initiative #NotJustForBoys – which campaigns to get more women into work in various industries – to increase female presence, improve diversity and boost productivity.

“Bringing in fresh blood can help to improve processes in areas like health and safety and compliance. Having fresh and different perspectives on board can only help construction firms grow at a time when the market is particularly challenging and uncertainty is rife,” Payne said.

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