Information from the Office for National Statistics shows that women currently form 12.8% of the construction workforce. This represents a slight growth from years past, however it is a figure that clearly has some ways to go. How do women successfully gain their seat at a traditionally all-male table?
My personal opinion isn’t that female professionals should create a battle of the sexes – I believe they should show the value of their compatibility. Our brains are wired differently, but that uniqueness is an asset. Whether a position requires a hands-on, analytical, or creative-oriented skillset, there are women who are well-trained in all these capacities and are proof that there is no gender requirement for any piece of the construction equation.
How do we get to the point of breaking the male-only stigma associated with a construction career? I’ve ear-marked an article from Fortune Magazine that holds a lot of truth in how this goal can be reached.
1. Take risks
The safe path isn’t one the drives change. When a risk is well-thought and bold, it can really make a spark and bring worthwhile topics to conversation.
2. Make goals a reality from the inside
If increased gender equality becomes a goal on a large scale, it begins within individual organizations where localized efforts in encouraging diversity start. Women with their sights on building diversity should start from supporting policies and practices within their own organizations to begin habits that can influence the larger community.
3. Bring men into the effort
In order to gain the support needed, male counterparts can become advocates for women working in the field. I’d make a case that the majority of men working among female colleagues would make an effort to support women involvement in the industry, as they’ve seen the benefit first hand.