Jobs for the girls

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell considers the role of women in construction.

As fantastic as many of the white middle-aged men that make up our industry are, I’ve always felt that the comparative lack of women can only be detrimental to the companies that don’t hire them.

Thankfully, we have some great female ambassadors leading some great companies, and I think the tide is slowly turning in favour of a more diverse workforce.

However, it does no harm whatsoever to keep banging the drum for promoting women in construction where we can. Just this week, we publish a slightly tongue-in-cheek release from the Federation of Master Builders which claims that women tend to have the final say on building work in the home.

The FMB also points out that the construction industry is facing a massive skills shortage, and is “crying out for more female builders”.

In light of the new T-Levels announced in the recent budget, there really does seem to be a massive opportunity to fill the skills gap, while addressing the gender imbalance.

At present, only 2% of construction workers onsite are female and until we start to appeal to 50% of the population, we won’t be able to plug the skills gap, Brian Berry, chief executive of FMB, pointed out.

“There is no reason why young women can’t become the next generation of brickies and sparks and it’s our job to remind them of that,” he said.