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Category: Real Estate and Construction
There's a social stereotype about a construction worker. Whether it's an entry level porter or a site boss, we tend, always, to think of a man. But women are engaged in all levels and aspects of the construction industry. From labourer roles to heavy equipment operators, women are getting involved more and more. Here are a few stories about women working roles in construction. And when you're ready to apply, the VERCIDA jobs database might have some good leads.
Make building networks social
Builder Alethea Watson is a mentor on a project called Volunteer It Yourself. The initiative builds community projects while teaching building skills to young people. The project encourages young people to bring friends along. Basing recruiting within social networks means there are significantly more young women than are present in the broader construction industry. This is important, as women are still under-represented in manual jobs in construction.
Why haven’t women been working in construction?
Campaigns like Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISE) have studied why some sectors still face a shortage of women. Sometimes this is due to sexism or bias in recruitment processes. Another reason is the fact that women and girls aren't encouraged to consider working in the field. Once your mindset has shifted, there’s no reason why women can’t make excellent construction workers.
The physical aspects of working in construction
You need strength and skill to work in construction. Heavy equipment like excavators and cranes do the lifting for you, and can be a great equaliser. Safety issues such as machine vibration damage can be off-putting to women, who culturally are encouraged to protect their bodies. However, in fact if damage occurs, it affects men and women equally, and it can be mitigated against altogether.
Women and safety in the construction industry
For anyone working in construction, a culture that prioritises safety, training and skills is vital. But just as important is creating a non-sexist working environment that welcomes women. The networking group Chicks with Bricks works to combat sexism and to promote the industry to women. If a job in construction interests you, the VERCIDA database might have some great roles available.