Why do women make up only 11% of the construction industry workforce?

Posted by James Cooper
02 December 2016 |
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Many young women end up working in female-dominated sectors, such as early-years childcare and hairdressing, where wages are lower and there is less chance of career progression, according to the under representation by gender and race in apprenticeships report. Women make up only 11% of the construction workforce and just 1% of workers on site.

The Office for National Statistics says that the number of women working as roofers, bricklayers and glaziers is so low that it is unmeasurable. UCATT carried out a survey of women construction workers to find out more about the challenges they face and to raise awareness of the issues among its male membership.  It found that: More than half (51%) said they were treated worse at work simply because of their gender.  The top three problems were: a lack of promotion prospects; lower pay than their male colleagues; and feeling isolated.

From these figures, it is clear to see that construction is an industry perched on or at least near the top of the "super male-dominated industries" spectrum. Certainly, female on-site construction workers are scarce, but women are almost as underrepresented in the industry at large.