Women have made great advances in the world of work. The employment rate for women continues to rise and today there are more women in work than ever before (now accounting for just under half of the workforce). But, in construction – still one of the largest employers in the UK – progress has been abysmally slow. As the authors of this report point out, women account for only 11 per cent of the construction workforce and just 1 per cent of workers on site.
Furthermore, the gender pay gap in construction is still wider than in other industries. The sector can neither justify nor countenance remaining a ‘no-go area’ for women. In order to fill the skills gap it will have to recruit and retain more women, and not just in support roles.
This report picks up the challenge facing the sector and shows that change can happen. There are no easy answers, but all the authors are convinced that women must be central to the modernisation of the construction industries.