TOP roles in construction are now within reach of more women as the industry paves its way to become a magnet for female high achievers.
This once male-dominated sector is now becoming first job choice for more women than ever – particularly those coming straight from higher education – as opportunities open up in areas that are vital to economic growth as well as having major influence on everyday lives.
Russell Taylor Group’s Construction Management Division, currently seeing a surge in new-build housing, build to rent and student accommodation projects, has become a source of support for women who are driving change among the white-collar construction workforce.
The building of new care homes as well as fit-outs at existing hospitals, retail outlets and schools have also become the main drivers behind the North West’s construction output growth – all heavily impacting on the skills gap agenda.
Division manager Amanda Winder explained: “The demand for project managers, construction managers, design management and commercial managers along with quantity surveyors and senior quantity surveyors to bring these projects to fruition is growing – jobs that are a perfect fit for industry-focussed, high achieving women who see the construction route as an exciting career choice.
“The face of the industry is changing and its old-fashioned attitudes are disappearing.
“There’s still plenty of work to do but there are now thousands of talented women choosing to work in construction. They are among the brightest and best, happy and fulfilled in their professional and management roles and making a difference to how women in construction are perceived.”
Figures show that women make up around 14 per cent of construction industry professionals. However, this is set to rise with a greater focus being placed by employers on the benefits of career progression for women, well-paid jobs with skills development and a reduction in gender-specific roles.
In a move to further narrow the gender gap, specific company targets to increase the number of women among their teams has also resulted in many employers seeking out more opportunities for those who want to go down the construction route as a career.
Construction in the UK needs women because the industry is still facing a skills shortage. Women, employers believe, bring a wide range of skills that not only benefit their specific operations but also enrich the construction industry as a whole.
Amanda continued: “More men currently work in the construction industry than women and there are still some old-fashioned ideas around - but attitudes are definitely changing.
“Construction isn’t just for men as there are more than 320,000 women employed in the industry. There are hundreds of careers in construction and the built environment involving design and management and covering positions as civil engineers, architects and quantity surveyors.
“Nor is the industry outdated and old-fashioned. Modern construction develops and uses some of the latest technology including Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Computer Aided Design (CAD). While new building methods and materials are constantly developing, heritage skills are also needed for old and historic buildings which are expected to meet modern standards and new low carbon and waste reduction targets.”
Many well-paid career opportunities are out there for women educated to degree level with many employers offering a graduate development programme or sponsoring undergraduates while they are gaining a degree, enabling them to earn and learn.
However, one of the biggest factors to getting women into construction is by early years introduction – even starting at primary school – when girls can be encouraged to take an interest in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Amanda added: “Early experiences can really influence girls about what they want to become. Through education, young women can discover that construction is not just about hard hats and dirt but is a career full of exciting and rewarding opportunities.”
To discuss the live roles and requirements registered within Russell Taylor Group’s Construction Management Division, Amanda can be contacted by phone on 07585 9657544 or email your CVs to her at firstname.lastname@example.org