Women as construction professionals: modern day challenges

Hannah Wood, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Ruoyu Jin, Kevin Wyche, Jodie Collinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


The ratio of men to women in the construction industry is one that has often attracted great concern for all stakeholders. Although the UK construction sector has enjoyed a significant rise in the number of women, there is undoubtedly more room for improvement. Numerous schemes have been initiated by government and other professional bodies to encourage more women to join the industry. On the surface, many issues such as lack of workplace flexibility and looming discrimination prevent many more women from joining. Using the glass ceiling and the leaky pipeline theories, an in-depth exploration of experiences of female construction professionals is undertaken in this research. A total of six semi-structured interviews were
carried out. Although the respondents acknowledged the industry had improved significantly, they nevertheless expressed concerns on many issues that they believed needed to be addressed. It was identified that many women struggle to re-enter the industry after embarking on maternity leave. Furthermore, the respondents believed that some workplace progressions were only due to senior managers’ attempt to demonstrate a level of inclusivity rather than due to merit. Finally, it was revealed that sexism is still rife in the industry and many women are left in very uncomfortable environments with fear of voicing out this horror. This research merely offers a peek at the ordeals that some women have to endure when working in the construction
industry. Hopefully by addressing such issues, more women will be encouraged to take up professions in the sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoint CIB W099 and TG59 International Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCoping with the Complexity of Safety, Health, and Wellbeing in Construction
EditorsTarcisio Abreu Saurin, Dayana Bastos Costa, Michael Behm, Fidelis Emuze
Place of PublicationSalvador
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9788567169118
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

© Authors of papers in this publication have the copyright for the articles.


  • Equality
  • Glass ceiling theory
  • Inclusive practice
  • Women


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