The construction business is making headlines for having one of the lowest percentages of gender diversity. While this is still a male-dominated field of employment, nearly three quarters (69%) of the UK industry agrees that it needs more tradeswomen to shift the balance.
According to the research commissioned by The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show, 38% of builders believe that women in the trade are discriminated against and 35% declare that there is a gender bias present.
Despite very few women getting involved in building houses, representatives of The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show highlight the fact that female homeowners take the majority of the decisions in designing and shaping a home.
Female builder and developer Sian Astley said, “Having worked in the building world for over 20 years, I’ve never felt that I’m not qualified for the job because I’m a woman or that I’m not welcome in this industry.
“My knowledge soon shuts up anyone who questions that purely from a sexist perspective and it sometimes surprises male builders that I enjoy site banter and love rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in. I build, I renovate, I design and I also manage over 15 rental properties so I know this field like the back of my hand. I’d encourage any woman to consider a career in the building and property field if they’re passionate about it.”
Jo Dyson added, “Growing up under the wing of my property renovating parents, I have great memories of trying to get involved – four-year old me would be there with my Fisher Price toolkit, most likely getting in the way. Over the years I’ve enjoyed the practical work on renovation projects such as tiling, grouting, re-roofing, stripping wallpaper, putting together new kitchen units, painting and recently, building a driveway.
“It’s also really satisfying to come up with designs and layouts that can transform a property – that challenge of taking tired, lack-lustre properties and realising their potential: turning them into homes you want to live in. Gender need not be a barrier; play to your strengths and try to carve a career out of what you enjoy. The Homebuilding & Renovating Show inspired me when I first visited years ago and I know it will inspire many more would-be home improvers who decide to join us this weekend.”
Michael Holmes, property expert added, “The industry needs to attract new recruits and this can achieved by focusing on the untapped talent pools. Women can be as qualified as men to do this job and we’d like to encourage this positive perception through the talks we have available at our shows.”