Women in the UK construction industry: Are we still clinging to the ‘old boys club’?
AffiliationFaculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, United Kingdom
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AbstractPurpose: The construction industry is famous for gender imbalance and reluctance in initiating change. In recent years, construction is becoming an attractive career choice for women. However, this change has been gradual. The purpose of this research was to understand the challenges women are facing in construction sector after a decade of implementation of the Equality Act 2010 in the UK and how women in the sector feel the industry could be further improved. This research investigated real life experiences to identify where the industry needs to make viable improvements. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 31 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. Findings: This research revealed that women still experience adversity forcing them to work harder than usual to prove their belonging in construction sector. The ‘man’s world’ culture is still widespread. However, women have seen improvements over recent years but believe more can be done from an intersectionality perspective. This is pertinent due to the Brexit and Covid-19 situation. Originality/value: The study contributes to the field of equality and diversity in the construction sector. Women believe that factors such as bespoke initiatives, equal pay, flexible working hours (considering childcare and caring responsibilities), mental health and wellbeing support, and equality and diversity policies will enable the construction sector to create conducive environment for women now and in the future.
CitationSuresh, S., Renukappa, S., Stride, M., Toor, R. N. et al (in press) Women in the UK construction industry: Are we still clinging to the ‘old boys club’? Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Emerald in Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management on date tbc, available online: [link to online copy tbc] The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/