Women the Answer to Housing Crisis!

21st September 2018

Posted In: FYI

The Construction Industry requires more female workers to meet current demand for skills and to deliver Ireland’s urgent housing and infrastructure needs, say key construction leaders.

The CIF launched its first Diversity and Inclusion Guidance Document today (21.9.2018) for the Construction sector in a bid to address the existing gender imbalance. It supports the body’s year-long #BuildingEquality campaign to increase the number of women in the industry and the visibility of those already working in construction.

Speakers at this morning’s event include Phil Kane, Country Manager, Eaton Corporation Ireland; Minister of State David Stanton, Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration and Anne Heraty, Founder and CEO of CPL Resources Plc.

Earlier this year, the Construction Industry Federation commissioned a survey to discover exactly how many women are working in the Irish construction industry, in what roles and at what levels. The survey also investigated the views of female workers currently working in the industry and the views of employers regarding diversity and inclusion in construction. This survey showed that over 70% of construction companies recognise the need for more women in the industry. However, on average approximately only 1 out of 10 construction workers are female.

The survey also found that on construction sites, 99% of workers are male, whilst in offsite roles, 54% are male and 46% are female. Of those women working in construction roles considered ‘offsite’ the majority work in administration, finance, HR and marketing.

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Jean Winters, Director of Industrial Relations and Employment Services with CIF and Chair of the #BuildingEquality Working Group said; “Increasing diversity and gender equality is not just the right thing to do, it is critical for our industry. A disengagement with construction is unconsciously driven by the education system at a very young age for girls. We have to tackle misconceptions about the industry at this level and this will form part of a national awareness campaign the CIF is undertaking to promote the diverse careers in the industry. The industry has a job to do to proactively ensure that we are diversity and inclusion friendly and that has been the impetus behind the development of our CIF Diversity and Inclusion Member Guidance Document, which will be issued to all members.”

She went on to say that: “The #BuildingEquality campaign asks male and female leaders in the industry to set the example and put equality of opportunity at the top of their agenda. We want to encourage more young women to consider construction as a viable option for them and change the view that construction is ‘just for the boys.’”