Our parents lied to us! As little girls our parents exposed us to positive, empowered role models. They encouraged us to empower ourselves and to feel empowered. They gave us love, support and advice when we needed it. They gave us guidance and a slap on the wrist when we needed that too. They taught us to believe in fairness, opportunity and equality. They taught us to value people by the kinds of people they are rather than such trivialities as their race, gender, age or orientation and encouraged us to expect the same of the world we live in. They laid the world bare for us and told us that we could do anything. Unfortunately, there are still some industries where the numbers are against us.
Construction is most certainly one of those industries. Most businesses have a glass ceiling but the construction industry appears to have a ceiling that’s made of solid lead. If you yearn to start your own construction business, have a passion for working with your hands and visit http://northernmat.ca/products/crane-digging-mats/ to check out the latest advancements in industrial digging technology in your free time it can seem like a forbidding industry to women. If you’re tired of the fact that just over 10% of construction jobs are occupied by women, you likely want to address the causes…
Lack of role models
When thinking about the construction industry as kids, the perception of it is obnoxiously male. Kids with even a passing interest in construction have only Bob The Builder to look to and the kinds of role models that young girls are aspired to look to, even ones with intelligence and agency, are seldom seen getting their hands dirty. The industry is not inherently sexist, indeed there is an active effort to recruit more women into the industry. However, the lack of female role models in the industry prevents many girls from seeing this “boy’s job” as a viable career option in the first place.
Fear of sexism
The construction industry has a reputation for being aggressively male and heteronormative. It’s the reason why many gay workers shun the industry and 71% of LGBT workers say that they do not feel that they can be open and honest about their sexuality at work. In this sort of environment it’s understandable why women may approach the industry with some trepidation regardless of the hard work that currently goes into making the industry more diverse.
The gender pay gap
Construction is far from the only industry in which the gender pay gap exists, but it is one of the industries in which it is the most pronounced. In some parts of the world such as the UK the pay disparity between men and women working in the exact same job is almost 25%. Thus, it’s far from surprising that many women think twice before entering the industry.
The leaky pipeline
Even when the construction industry is able to recruit women, it historically struggles to retain them. Many women in a range of industries face resistance when re-entering the workforce after having children. In construction, however this seems to be particularly pronounced.
The most effective way to deal with this inequity is from within. Only by staking their claim in this male dominated industry can women expect to fight for their rights to affect long term change.