Women in Construction: Are women treated differently on site?

Our last post was all about our North West Cambridge development project, and our two project managers Lynne and Kjersti, supporting Women in Construction.

Following on from this, we thought we’d explore the subject, because let’s be honest, there’s a significant dip in the market for women in construction, even still in this modern day and age. We wanted a real insight in to work life on a construction site and to see if women are in fact treated any differently, because there has to be a reason why women still don’t show much interest in this sector.

Here’s what our girls said:

“Overall, we don’t think it is hard for women working onsite.  Everyone is always really friendly here which makes the job easier.  Generally, people onsite tend to treat us respectfully.  They always let us go past them onsite, say hi to us and in meetings – they even try and give up their chairs for us!

We are in the minority though.  It’s us and then a couple of women working for BAM and the girls in the Canteen and that’s about it.  We are probably the only women (apart from one other) who are regularly onsite with all the guys. 

We do come across some subcontractors onsite who are still pretty old fashioned in their way of thinking but this is a minority. 

I guess for women that don’t work onsite – site life may seem a little daunting and maybe less feminine but overall, we have only had a good experience onsite and would recommend it to other women!”

Women in Construction

That said, although our girls have it good on the North West Cambridge development site, it’s not always the case for other women on site.  In fact according to UCATT and information carried out in a survey, more than 51% of women said that they were treated worse at work because of their gender and also experienced problems such as feeling isolated or that there was a lack of prospects or opportunities available to them. Further to that, 25% of women surveyed said that they had to share toilet facilities with men, and three out of ten women were afraid to complain about poor treatment. You can read more on this article from UCATT here.

Have you had any experiences on site? Let us know and comment below.

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