Complexity of women’s modern-day challenges in construction

Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Hannah Wood, Jodie Collison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the UK construction sector has enjoyed a significant rise in the number of women joining the industry, there is undoubtedly more room for improvement. Numerous schemes have been initiated by government and other professional bodies to encourage more women to undertake a career in construction. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the organisational complexities of problems faced by women working in professional roles in construction. It thus initiates a dialogue on the lack of workplace flexibility and discriminatory practices that prevent many more women from joining.
A phenomenological philosophy is adopted. The research critically explores the views of women working in professional roles in six large construction firms in England.
It was widely acknowledged that the industry had improved significantly, however there are still concerns yet to be addressed. It was identified that women face new challenges when they attain senior roles. Furthermore, it is believed that the current glass ceiling theory and leaky pipeline theory are not adequate to study these issues.
Research limitations/implications
Sample size and narrow focus on large construction firms are the limitations of the paper.
Practical implications
Through academic and industry dissemination, the findings from this research encourage both men and women working in the construction industry to adopt inclusive practices that will help widen the pool of knowledge and expertise.
Social implications
This paper sheds light on a problem that is assumed to be eradicated once women progress to senior management roles.
This research presents an in-depth critical perspective of challenges faced by women construction professionals occupying decision-making positions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2550-2565
Number of pages16
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019


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