In India, the construction segment is labor-intensive and, including indirect jobs, provides employment to more than 35 million people. Even after some meek improvements, construction tends to be a male-dominated industry with the lowermost representation of women of all industry sectors. At every career phase – recruitment, retention, and progression – men enormously outnumber women.
But, as a woman, I haven’t really spoken to a successful woman with a career in construction, which made me feel I could not visualize myself in a constructive role. Women have little knowledge of the construction industry and its potential career options. It is a growing industry which creates plenty of investment opportunities across other related sectors.
In fact, construction is not seen as a viable or ambitious career path like law, business, medicine or engineering – regardless of engineering being a part of the construction industry.
Many of us girls believe that we wouldn’t be respected or heard in the construction industry. Nor could they visualize what achievement might look like for them, or how they could make a difference. Take the scene from Made in Heaven for example. The workers stopped building a backdrop because they didn’t want to take orders from a woman. They would rather take an order from the woman’s subordinate who is a man.
Challenges Faced by Women
Women still face certain challenges but in the construction business, it is very adamant. It could be the familiar ones like gender bias, lack of resources, inadequate benefits, sexual harassment, and social sensitivities. There are certain trials that are unique to construction.
Some of the pieces of equipment in Construction are still designed keeping men in mind. That leaves a very poor fit for women, keeping them at high risk of being injured on the field.
Women earn lesser than men in construction and the pay is even lower for women of color.
Lack of Mentorship
There is an overall lack of strong female role models which dampens the spirits of other women trying to advance in the field or trying to choose construction as a career.
But why should Women join Construction?
With the shortage of women in the industry, opportunities to improve team spirit, performance, contribute fresh outlooks will be provided to them to instill growth.
High Income Potential
Compared to traditional female dominated careers like administrative assistants, women who take construction and trade careers earn 30 percent more.
Need for More Labor
In the next five years, the need for labor in the construction industry is expected to grow over 1.6 million people. This opens up an opportunity for high-paying, stable jobs for females.
Skills like team building, managing a complicated project, working with technology and tools can be applied to other careers as well.
Joining other Women
Selecting a career in construction means to join the ranks of women who are commanding the industry movement. This creates mentorships for other women who want to follow in their footsteps.
How Female Leaders are making an Impact
With the number of female leaders rising, the field of construction has been transformed. The company standards have been changed to eliminate the challenges faced by other women. Participation has increased in departments like recruitment and retainment creating a push for better benefits. Female leaders can also serve as a valuable resource for their colleagues, inspiring their careers and encouraging them to advance in their occupations. Female leaders also play a crucial role in inspiring a new generation of construction leaders with their presence and accomplishments.
As the construction industry continues to cope with problems like productivity and labor, there is a growing space for women to enter the field. It’s not just a matter of equal representation — female leaders are making a big impact on the industry and this number can only be set to rise with more and more women choosing construction jobs.