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The construction industry converts a range of resources into social, economic and environmental infrastructure. It is one of the most influential sectors both globally and in individual countries. We are discussing here the women in construction.
The construction sector contributes significantly to the gross domestic product (GDP) of all countries. It is also a major employer. It is estimated that it provides on average 7 percent of total global employment or some 220 million people.
According to the ILO World Employment Social Outlook Report Trends 2018, more than 3.3 billion people are working worldwide. While many workers receive regular wages and salaries, jobs vary greatly.
Globally, the construction industry provides employment to some 220 million. The industry is a significant contributor to the level of employment in all countries.
This covers a large range of trades such as plumbers, carpenters, scaffolders, electricians and plasterers. In addition, a range of professions is involved such as engineers, architects, and surveyors. For unskilled workers, employment is often temporary, insecure and dangerous.
Construction is the second largest industry in India after agriculture and contributes significantly to the GDP. It provides employment to both skilled and unskilled workers and is presently growing at the rate of around 7 percent per annum.
With over 35 million people engaged in this sector, women occupy nearly 30 percent of the workforce. Almost 65 percent of the women work as construction laborers since their families are already in the workforce or male members of their family are employed there.
Women In Construction
Women Leaders are changing the world as we see it today. When women, the very few, take top leadership positions, they bring about a change in the very culture of an organization.
In India, women make up 42 percent of new graduates, but only 24 percent of entry-level professionals. Of these, about 19 percent reach senior-level management roles.
Women hold only 7.7 percent of board seats and just 2.7 percent of board chairs. In the construction, the number drops further as only 1-2 percent reach top-level management positions.
However, there is a shortage of women in technical and managerial roles, particularly civil engineers, architects, structural engineers, electrical engineers, maintenance and supervisory staff, as just 1.4 percent of women are engaged in such technical roles within the industry.
Out of these less than 2 percent reach leadership positions in construction companies.
The ratio of male to female students in Civil Engineering courses is 4:1. From this pool, only 20 percent of women join the construction sector and the rest move on to other jobs/sectors. And also, at the specialized construction management and postgraduate course, only 20-30 percent of students are female.
It is a constant challenge to hire women in such a male field for various reasons but the most glaring not many women look at construction or civil engineering as a career option.
More than within the industry, this stigma is due to environmental and societal pressures that make this disparity unbreachable.
Construction has always been a male bastion in not only India but the world. You will find very few women on sites or working in civil construction companies.
It was never considered a career option (when women started asserting their choice to exercise options) for young engineers, architects or professionals. It was unfathomable, why a woman would want construction as a career option.
For the past few years, the scenario has been changing as more female students are enrolling for the civil engineering and construction management programs.
Also, due to technological advancement more office/indoor and IT-enabled technical jobs are emerging. So the demand for women-centric workplaces in the construction and similar industry has arisen.
In the construction industry women are working at three levels:
- Women in a technical position as engineers or architects
- Women in an administrative position like managers (Finance, HR), etc
- Women as construction labors
The situation of women is an administrative position is favorable as they are not required to travel to the construction sites and may have the option to work in flexible working hours.
Construction is India’s second-largest jobs sector after agriculture and it is predicted to grow substantially in the coming years.
A study published by the Arizona State University estimates that it employs 31 million workers, with the expected net increase in the construction workforce from 2010 to 2020 as 97 million.
Though it is an industry in need of serious labor reforms, it remains an important source of jobs for the very poor and marginalized.
Women working in construction is on the increase. 37% of new entrants into the industry that came from higher education are women.
How can I get into the Construction Industry?
There are many ways into construction, whether you’re leaving school or established in your career. You could:
- Earn while you learn in an Apprenticeship
- Develop deeper into your chosen field with a degree
- Build your skills with an Internship
- Get a taste for the industry with work experience
- Achieve a qualification to help you on your journey
Working in construction makes you feel very valuable in society. You’re working in a job that you know can change people’s quality of life. You feel proud of doing this job.
The construction industry is growing
With the government looking to invest in infrastructure all over India, road projects, building projects, and other construction jobs are in high demand, with many crews being employed before the next job even starts.
Plus, there’s construction work available almost everywhere, so you can always travel, too! If you’ve ever thought about getting into construction, now is the time to do it!
Possible construction jobs include
There is a huge range of jobs within the construction sector, and figuring out which one you’re interested in is important. As a women employee in the construction industry, you could land a job from the various jobs available in the construction industry.
The number of women in construction jobs is increasing
While previously the construction sector was almost entirely male-dominated, more and more women are being tempted by high pay rates and job security.
It means that you’ll no longer be the only woman in a hard hat on the job site, making your job much easier. That said, it is still a male-dominated industry – but that’s changing rapidly.
Guaranteed long hours and good pay
With such strong industry growth, the construction sector can offer you long hours and brilliant pay. Many young girls and women choose to join the female workforce in the building industry because they know it’s one of the highest paying jobs they can get.
You won’t be in a position where you go to work for a six-hour shift and only get two hours the way people do in hospitality or retail. Plus, with overtime and penalty rates, and a strong union, you know you’ll be getting paid well for your time. Work hard for your pay, and you can afford to play hard too.
Strong career progression opportunities
Many companies are making a strong push for gender diversity in every industry, and that includes construction projects. Young women are being encouraged to consider career growth opportunities in fields that previously they would have had to fight to even get into, let alone to be considered for promotions in.
Nowadays, managing director, construction managers, project manager, and more high-level positions are considered fair game for the female workforce in construction – with the added bonus of being a potential role model for other women looking to become tradespeople.
Women In Construction have strong industry support
Women’s rights in the workplace are now a common conversation, and the construction and building industry recognizes that. Groups like the national association of women in construction along with social media movements and sexual harassment training for male colleagues all mean that women are treated better than they ever have been – and when they’re not, there’s more support than ever before.
Trade unions also recognize the positive impact that women can have on construction sites and in building companies, meaning that as a female construction worker you’re likely to get more support and help than women in some other industries.
To encourage women participation in construction, they must be provided with support and encouragement for non‐traditional choices at an early age.
If you’re interested in a lifelong career, with strong growth opportunities and job security, then working in the construction field could be for you – especially if you’re a female worker. Job sites are no longer limited to men with women doing the administrative work, so get started with a course in construction today!