Historically, the construction industry was a realm occupied mostly by men and female workers were a rare sight. However, times are changing, with women entering this sector at a more rapid pace.
In order to see equal participation, the industry as a whole needs to be open to hiring women and giving them the opportunity to attain and grow in a variety of roles. With this in mind, is your own business taking this group into consideration during the construction recruitment process?
Construction firms must take action to welcome women
Businesses need to welcome females at all levels of experience in securing roles
Professor Valerie Francis of the University of Melbourne recently discussed women's participation in construction in an October 21 ABC interview. She stated that initiatives to involve more females have been in place since the 1980s and although the industry has seen some progress, there are still some issues that firms need to address.
While the number of women has increased, the percentage has remained somewhat unchanged according to Professor Francis. One of the key issues is senior progression, as many females leave the industry before reaching higher positions. Businesses need to welcome females at all levels of experience in securing roles within the industry.
Why should you hire women?
The notion that women lack the skills to enter this industry is a persistent, but incorrect assumption. Earlier this year, a number of women were recognised on Master Builder's awards ceremony, including the first ever recipient of the National Young Builder of the Year Serena Guidice and the first female to win Victorian Young Commercial Builder of the Year Kate Dawson.
Master Builders CEO Wilhelm Harnisch reiterated the strength of female workers in this sector.
"This International Women's Day Master Builders pays tribute to these and other inspiring women including CEOs of major construction firms, young apprentices showing that they can be outstanding tradespeople of the future and the many women who juggle any number of roles to contributing to the success of the family's business," he said.
Hiring female workers has many benefits and these can be realised right from the recruitment stage. As the Human Rights Commission explained, this involves coming up with solid strategies that welcome diversity. Understanding an employee's skill set and how this will translate into the specific role can be a challenge, but with a diverse and educated team, this process can be a lot more achievable.
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