It may surprise you to know that there are currently over 200,000 women working in the construction industry and that number is slowly increasing. Well that is good news as there is still a lack of skilled manual workers. But that figure is quite low when you consider there are over two million people working in the construction industry. So that 200,000 is just 1% of the work force.
We decided to do some research and see if we could find some possible reasons for this relatively low figure.
Traditionally construction has been seen as a predominantly male environment and ‘not a place for women’. Women do not feel the industry is ‘female friendly’ and the very fact there are few women in the industry can also be very off putting.
A recent Equal Opportunities Commission report found 80% of school-age girls said they would be interested in learning to do a non-traditional job but only 12% were interested in construction.
However things are moving forward and the opportunities are there for women to be involved in construction with apprenticeships, learning on the job or by going to university and entering construction at graduate level. Once the skills are learnt there is the attractive prospect of the freedom to start a business themselves.
The construction industry is always evolving and improving with initiatives such as the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) which has resulted in less on-site accidents and improved competencies. To date some 1,756,519 people have a CSCS card.
This coupled with more training opportunities has seen an increase in the number of women studying for a future within construction.
Are you a female FENSA Fitter? We would love to share your story – just let us know below…