The construction industry has typically been a male-dominated one, but it seems as though the tides of change are finally happening as women look to break into the field in larger numbers than ever before. Not only that, but recent stats show that women are actually earning more than their male-counterparts as maintenance painters, construction supervisors, and construction labourers.
So what careers are ideal for women looking to get into the construction industry, what can you expect and what tips can be helpful? Let’s take a closer look.
Does the pay gap still exist?
There is a lot of talk about the pay gap, and unfortunately it is still very much an issue and exists in up to 90% of sectors according to the report Opportunities and Outcomes in Education and Work: Gender Effects, from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Apprenticeships and trades, such as what you would find in the construction industry, are within this 90% majority.
So, what can you do as a woman to help fight this pay gap? Women are encouraged to get as much education and training as possible so that their skills are what ultimately determine their salary, rather than the industry standards for women.
Get your foot in the door
One of the best pieces of advice for women in the construction industry is to start making contacts and getting your foot in the door the minute you decide you want to work in the industry. Go about your schooling and training, but keep up with these contacts. You may be able to land a job before you even finish school, which will allow for a seamless transition into the workforce.
The stigma is fading
Where it used to be unusual to see women in this line of work, today the stigma is fading. Men are becoming more and more used to seeing women in the field, which also means women are being treated more fairly and equally on the job site itself. Companies that recognise that women have just as much to add to the field are the ones that are excelling.
With that said, women in the industry make it clear that there are still obstacles. You are bound to encounter people here and there that aren't as open to women in the construction field, and that's when you need to be strong and resilient. Let your skills and experience speak for itself. There is no need to feel you have to go out there and prove something.
What makes the field so exciting?
If you’re still on the fence about whether this field is right for you, one of the biggest draws for people in construction is that no two days are the same. You will be moving from jobsite to jobsite as you complete jobs, you’ll be working with different people all the time, and be challenged each and every day.
There really has never been a more exciting and promising time for women looking to enter the construction field. The career opportunities are there and the challenges the industry offers are exciting and rewarding.
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