The Role of Women in UK Construction: Breaking Barriers and Driving Change

The construction industry of the UK underwent a pivotal change in 2023 with a female workforce of 15.8% compared to the pre-pandemic era with a percentage of only 12.6%, as shown by the ONS data (Office for National Statistics). The sector is picking up the change, with more than 340,000 women now using their knowledge and skills to its advantage. Nevertheless, difficulties still exist. Therefore, women should be studied to find out what prevents them from considering this industry, allow for positive changes to be made and encourage women to come into the construction industry.

This blog will go into the extent of the current situation and barriers women face as well as acknowledge the change that is already taking place.


Challenges Faced by Women in Construction 

Yet, it is still important to indicate the problems that still exist and make it difficult for women to get more representation in construction. Stereotypes and gender biases commonly serve as major obstacles to women's success in this area. Besides this, invisibility and mentorship having rare chances can cause problems, so women can not see a long-term future and success in construction.

In addition, the culture of advancing women in construction UK has become a deterrent. Overcoming the above-mentioned obstacles is a comprehensive task involving the industry sector and the society as a whole. For the better, the change is coming. The construction sector faces many obstacles; however, active steps are being taken to provide a more inclusive surrounding.

Exploring the Gender Gap in the Construction Industry

The female gender inclusivity in UK construction industry has a major gender gap issue, with the number of women in the labour force being less than half of men in the UK. Even though efforts have been made to rectify this problem, the reported number of women in the area has not changed much and has been stuck at 10-15% Such kind of disregard for gender equality not only harms the equality of genders but also hinders the economic development. The research shows that the increase in productivity from closing the gender employment gap can represent between 9% and 26% for countries like Germany and Italy.

Numerous reasons are behind the low gender inclusivity in UK construction industry, ranging from legacy gender stereotypical views of the industry as being solely for men to large pay gaps and career advancement opportunities. It is also worth noting that Advancing women in construction UK have other issues, such as wrong-sized PPE and poor maternity plans.

To form a more caring environment, the industry should work against traditional misperceptions and make sure that conditions for equal wages and promotions are fair. As well, necessary equipment should be properly sized, and motherhood should be supported. State intervention is the most important consideration when handling these issues, as it promotes a diverse and dynamic construction sector that will benefit both women and the entire industry.


Positive Changes for Women in Construction

Diversity and Inclusion Programs:  

A sizeable number of construction companies have started to run diversity and inclusion initiatives to instil cohesion within the workplace. These initiatives are meant to sustain a culture where anyone, man or woman, is appreciated and respected.

Mentorship Opportunities:  

The construction industry is recognised for its significance. It provides mentoring programs through which female construction professionals can learn how to manage their careers. Such systems aim to pair prospective mentors with newcomers who can provide them with guidance and emotional support. 

Educational Outreach:  

To handle this problem, endeavours are being made to attract girls and young women to careers in the construction sector. Educational outreach projects and cooperation with colleges focus on changing attitudes and demonstrating the broad prospects in the work area.


Role of Women in Construction

Gender inequality in the industry

Females entering the male-dominated field of civil engineering must also have a hard shell. The Randstad study proved that one-third of women who are engaged in the mentioned field have undergone some kind of discrimination, and 31% have been exposed to inappropriate comments from male co-workers. Besides, advancing women in construction UK will also have to see more examples in this industry. If more women are in the upper management ranks of the sector, the number of younger women seriously considering construction as a career will increase.

Not just for men

Unluckily, you simply have to walk into a toy store to be able to see that the gender stereotypes are not yet dead. Boys choose from the construction and building toys, while girls choose the toys that come in pink boxes with their baking and beauty options. Hence, most girls simply cannot visualise themselves as a foot patrol or a cost estimator as they mature. These sexual stereotypes, which have been to be passed on from one generation to another, must first be taken out before we can have any hope of gender equality at the construction site. Otherwise, if the sector doesn't embrace the age of equality during this period of revolution, it will lag behind.

Building a stronger business

Female inclusion will be extensive across all departments in the building and engineering field. As a result, the UK construction industry will be more productive, strong and unified. However, the point remains - how can you improve the efficiency and outcome of your organisation? Along with employing more women, installing tracking devices in your work vehicles increases the productivity of your drivers because you can monitor the way they drive, their routes, and stops and starts intentionally. 


Best Construction Careers for Women

Until recently, the construction industry was almost entirely male-dominated, but nowadays, the more advancing of women in construction UK is making a powerful difference. The best career field available is a topic for girls entering the construction industry, and it is very important. Below the ladder are 10 of the best Construction Careers for Women.

Construction Project Manager

The Construction Project Manager is an excellent career path for women in construction. A construction project manager manages a specific short-term project under construction. They work together with architects, engineers, and other professionals in the construction department to meet the deadline, the budget, and the client’s satisfaction.

BIM Manager

The BIM Manager job profile is definitely one of the top construction careers for women. They will be responsible for the BIM management process during the project lifecycle, including developing, implementing, and managing BIM standards.


Architects are in charge of designing buildings and any associated structures. They cooperate with clients to understand their requirements and prepare different functional, safe, and attractive designs. Architects coordinate with engineers and construction experts to guarantee the feasibility of implementing the designs within the construction budget and timeframe.

Quantity Surveyor

The main concern for Quantity Surveyors is the financial management of a construction project. They collaborate with project managers and other organisation members to ensure that the project has adequate finance allocation, its goals are achieved, and the deadlines are kept.

Safety Manager

Safety management is responsible for ensuring that all the workers on a construction site are always safe. They inspect, make safety plans, and instruct workers on how to properly undertake safety procedures. The responsibility here comes with the need for deep knowledge of construction safety rules and potential hazards to solve them.

Construction Site Supervisors

The main responsibilities of a construction site supervisor include daily monitoring of operations. They ensure workers observe safety regulations, manage calendars and resources, and liaise with the project managers and other stakeholders.

Design Engineer

Manufacturing engineers design and manufacture construction materials and equipment. They collaborate with architects, builders, and the construction department to ensure that their imagination becomes reality and that the product adheres to the set specifications.

Cost Engineer

The cost estimator is a great construction career for women who are mainly accountable for evaluating the construction project costs. They partner with project managers along with other stakeholders to come up with budgets and schedules and subsequently oversee that the projects are executed with time and a lower budget.

Construction Accountants

Construction accountants are in charge of financial matters since they control the funds used in construction projects. They are also in charge of harmonising the PR managers and other stakeholders to establish budgets, manage cash flow, and make timely payments.

Sustainability Manager

Sustainability managers are responsible for the environmental-friendly character of construction sites. Alongside the project managers and other stakeholders, they help improve construction practices to become more sustainable and explore the use of environmentally friendly materials.


Benefits of a Diverse Workforce

A good mixed-cultured workplace is an advantage for any industry. Having a more gender-balanced team helps roles like problem-solving as it leads to a team with different opinions on a problem. So, a more diverse staff will see problems from different perspectives and may find innovative solutions. Both women and men think differently, which means that companies can succeed if they listen to different voices and develop new strategies. Besides bringing new ideas, a multicultural environment can enhance imagination and efficiency.

From the point of view of the brand, it is natural that a company will see its reputation grow should the company’s gender balance be equal. This is especially specific for construction enterprises, as this group does mostly covers the sector with a lack of gender-balanced working environments.