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Lack Of Women In The Construction Industry!

Why do more women not work in the Construction Industry?


Laing O’Rourke chair and chief executive Ray O’Rourke suggested earlier this month that the construction industry should move to a 35 hour week  O’Rourke was responding to concerns over the lack of women in the industry by saying the sector had to end the long-hours culture that made it an unattractive option for many young people looking for a career. he said. “I think we should move more towards the German model, which is working 35 hours a week, rather than 48 hours for 48 years.

Few would argue that the construction industry, as a whole, is an inclusive and modern employer. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), women constitute just 12.7% of the sector’s workforce. A 2009 CIC study shows that those women are paid almost a fifth less for their time. People belonging to black and minority ethnic groups make up just 5% of the staff, despite making up about 11% of the UK population.

The problem is not just one of fairness, it is also economically damaging: there is evidence the sector is struggling to recruit the new generation of workers it needs from its traditional pool of labour, despite the recession.

More family-friendly working times are seen as key to recruiting women, who are still more likely to be balancing work and child-care issues.

Carol Wrench, head of public affairs at the Electrical Contractors Association, says that less than 1% of electricians are women. The organisation has launched a programme, called “wired for success”, designed to get more women to become electri­cians, and she agrees it’s not just about working hours. “I don’t think that you can look at the number of hours a week in isolation. It’s more about a perception that the industry is not an environment that women want to work in.”

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