NAWIC: The role of women in construction is changing for the better – but there is still a very long way to go

NAWIC

gender equality, NAWIC, women in construction,

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The results are in on the inaugural NAWIC ‘State of the Industry’ survey, and among the findings, a massive, (yet sadly unsurprising), 75% of respondents say they have experienced
gender-based adversity within their construction career.

The survey, which was sent out to all NAWIC members, gathered data around job positions and salary ranges, working hours and industry sentiment. It also asked for responses to questions around equal opportunity, gender-based adversity and workplace experiences.

Alongside 75% of respondents saying they have experienced gender-based adversity within their construction career, 50% agreed or strongly agreed that they have received inappropriate or unwanted attention from colleagues. While 43% disagreed with the statement ‘In my industry all genders have the same opportunities and career advancements.”

When asked for additional information, some comments included; “Discovering male counterparts with less skills were on higher salary than me.”

“The usual unwanted advances, assumed I would take minutes/make coffee/clean up simply because I’m female.”

“Unconscious bias is absolutely pervasive in the industry, from small micro aggressions to overt
sexist behaviour.”

“Being told you’re there as a token woman, and as the only woman in the room being asked
to take notes in meetings and get coffees, being left out of activities like golf days and more
recently, not having support for flexible working arrangements or breastfeeding facilities.”

“Though the tide has changed somewhat, it is still very much a boys club. I had been told
previously that I should just focus on the role I was doing and aim to be the best at that, not
aim for management.”

NAWIC National Chair, Christina Yiakkoupis says; “Gathering data and comments from our
growing membership gives NAWIC an even louder voice and an opportunity to draw
attention to aspects of the industry that are lagging behind as well as changes that need to
be made.”

Overall however things are improving, with 83% of respondents also stating that they agree or
strongly agree that the role of women within the industry is changing for the better.
“The number of women joining the construction industry is on the rise and the majority of our
NAWIC members are seeing changes that show we are heading in the right direction,”
finishes Christina.

In order to achieve an equitable construction industry where women fully participate,
NAWIC’s goal is to drive changes that will aid in the increased recruitment, retention and
further vocational development of women within all facets of the construction industry. This
includes a focus on advocacy, education, connection and community.

ABOUT NAWIC: The National Association of Women in Construction is tasked with achieving
equitable construction industry where women fully participate. Nawic’s mission is to drive
changes that will aid in the increased recruitment, retention and further vocational
development of women within all facets of the construction industry. They achieve this
through a focus on advocacy, education, connection and community.

Source: NAWIC Media Release

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