Business Irish

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Women working in construction would recommend similar career to younger generation as industry beginning to see 'great change'

Stock Image
Stock Image
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The majority of women working in the construction industry have felt supported by their male colleagues throughout their career - but retention of female workers in this area is still an issue.

More than 84pc of female respondents in a recent Construction Industry Federation survey believed their male counterparts assisted them as they progressed, with 73pc reporting significant, positive change towards female workers in the industry.

As a result, some 85pc of those currently working in construction said that they would recommend a similar career path for younger female relatives or friends.

However, the research highlighted that the retention of female workers in this area was still a difficulty, with a lack of flexibility in working hours for parents cited as the main reason.

Furthermore, half of respondents said that they have experienced challenges regarding welfare or toilet facilities on sites, although many noted this issue had improved recently, with smaller sites and at the beginning of projects the most problematic.

Being treated differently due to gender was reported by 69pc of those surveyed.

While some believed this was positive, speaking more politely in discussions, for example, others said they'd experienced 'mansplaining' and treated as 'bossy', by older male colleagues in particularly, if outspoken.

President CIF and Regional Managing Director (Civils) with John Sisk & Son, Pat Lucey, said that construction industry is beginning to see "great change".

"There is no doubt that construction has traditionally been considered a male-dominated industry, but it is time to change that perception and to an extent that reality; not because it currently suits us to do so due to the skills shortage the industry is experiencing, but because it is the right thing to do," he said.

"We cannot afford to lag behind other industries any longer. We must look to best practice and delve deeper into the barriers to entry or indeed retention issues, which have affected or continue to affect our potential or actual female colleagues for far too long."

The CIF is marking International Women’s Day by celebrating the achievements of women in the industry at an event in the Morrison Hotel in Dublin on Friday morning.

Online Editors

Also in Business