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Women in construction

Employment Law Review 15 February 2024


Research by building company Redrow plc has found that the number of women who are either working in construction or are thinking of joining the industry has increased by almost a fifth in just a year.

The survey of 1,000 young adults found that the main reason for the increase in women was a rise in female role models, with two-fifths of the women surveyed stating that they wanted to work for a company with female or LGBTQ leaders.

In 2020, over two-fifths (44 per cent) of young people believed a career in construction was dominated by men. In 2024 this had reduced to 39 per cent, with just under a third (32 per cent) saying that they had considered a career in construction.

However, the figures might be more encouraging if this male-dominated industry had addressed the problem of ill-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) for women sooner. Indeed, it is only in the last month that the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has mandated a new requirement for the provision of inclusive PPE for women, following a campaign by the Chartered Institute of Building.

The initiative, which was launched in 2022, also aimed to highlight the experiences of construction professionals and address widespread inequalities in PPE across the construction industry. 

The change follows work undertaken by the CCS in 2022 in collaboration with quantity surveyor and equality advocate Sinéad Clarkson regarding the availability of female sanitary products and gender-inclusive PPE on construction sites.

At the time, the CCS rejected changes to the Code of Considerate Practice relating to female PPE as the organisation determined that there were sufficient legislative protections in place. 

To read the report in more detail, click here.