Let’s talk about women in construction!
At Axiom Personnel we have specialised in what have traditionally been considered to be male-dominated industries and although there is a huge amount of effort going into encouraging young women into these sectors, it still feels like there is so much more that should be done to break these old stereotypes and bad practices.
We are placing contractors onto construction sites all across London and the South East every day and Liam and I often visit the sites to meet with the site foreman to see how they are settling in. I can honestly say I don’t think we have yet managed to place a female construction worker on one of our client’s sites.
The statistics are remarkably similar to those in security with women only making up 11% of the construction workforce in the UK and that drops to only 1% by the time you are on site.
It starts with the simple things that need to be fixed immediately, a survey from Unite found there were only 1 in 5 construction sites that offer female-only loos.
Then of course there is the pay gap, which is the largest gender pay gap in the UK, and is still growing, in 2016 the ONS reported the gap was standing at 18.1%, and this has grown to 23.7% in 2021/22 with some of the major employers reporting rates as high as 52.5%, Read this article from workingmums.co.uk, published in April of this year.
We already know there is a shortage of workers in the construction industry and the current estimates suggest we will need an additional ¼ million workers to meet the anticipated demand. Women make up 50% of the population and The CITB have a huge task on their hands to encourage more young women to enter construction.
Let’s get the basics right first, pay women the same for the same job and give them a loo!