Years ago it was unheard of for women to be employed in the construction industry. Today women are slowly and progressively making gains and finding jobs in that sector.
Both in the U.K. and abroad more and more females are finding work as builders, bricklayers, carpenters, tillers, fitters and framers.
The construction industry is usually one of the biggest in most economies. There are always public sector initiatives, private developments and housing projects that are being built regardless of economic circumstances. And so it makes sense that at some point ladies will begin to move into this sector as more and more women become employed.
In the Britain, the build industry is worth more than £100bn which represents about six per cent of the total GDP. The sector has been affected by the economic downturn, but things are expected to stabilise in the next few years, with growth forecast for 2013 and beyond.
However, while women make up close to half of the workforce in Britain, they are only about 10 per cent of the construction industry. This is something that will in fact damage the country’s ability to recover when the economy improves, as well as its competitiveness.
In other countries the picture is a bit more positive. In Canada for example the number working in construction in some provinces is increasing. In Quebec, the number of women workers in the industry has grown since 1997. By 2011 the number of employed in construction in the French-speaking province was 2,067, or nine per cent more than in 2010. They use many initiatives and activities to get more סדנת מיניות לנשים involved in building. One of the most successful is a competition which aims to promote the industry to other demographics. The competition offers scholarships to those who want to study and work in the building sector.
In the UK the tradition has been for ladies to be drawn to the more creative sides of building and home projects. They have found work as interior designers and until recently as architects. However, according to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) the number of female architects has fallen by seven per cent since 2009. A survey done by RIBA at the beginning of 2012 showed that more than two-thirds of them suffered from sexual discrimination during their career and that 35 per cent believed the recession would decrease pay parity with male counterparts.
RIBA expressed concern about its survey findings and has said it is committed to helping them with these issues and committed to addressing inequalities through initiatives such as the Architects for Change and Women in Architecture groups.
In other areas however the news seems more positive. Do-it-yourself projects are undergoing a renaissance and a survey done by Ideal Home Magazine revealed that people are taking on more home improvement projects than ever before. Interestingly, more and more females across the U.K. are attending DIY classes and are keen to learn about wallpapering, plumbing, basic renovation and painting techniques.
The Federation of Master Builders is encouraging construction companies to take on more apprentices of both genders. The FMB believes that construction companies with young workers and apprentices will be in a much better position to do well and capitalise on projects when the economy improves and gathers pace. For young people, the FMB states that the best way to learn a trade is to get involved in an apprenticeship.
The FBM would like to see all sectors of society involved in all parts of the build industry, including heavy equipment. So when it comes to heavy equipment jobs such as telehandler hire companies are encouraged to employ all kinds of people who are qualified for the work.
Another indication of some improvement in construction is that the Construction Youth Trust holds regular workshops for women entitled Basic Construction Skills for Women. The purpose is to get more young people into employment in the construction industry. Participants learn the basics of the industry including plastering, tiling, painting and bricklaying.