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More women needed in construction

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More women needed in construction

Flexible working options are key in making construction a more attractive and progressive career choice for female talent, a new survey has shown.

A recent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) poll has revealed the top recommendations industry professionals believe will help employers encourage more female talent into the property sector.

Women make up around just 14 per cent of the construction industry’s workforce.

These include builders, carpenters, plumbers and electricians as well as surveyors, project managers and inspectors.

They may be working on everything from small projects, such as repairs and refitting kitchens and bathrooms, up to home conversions, renovations and extensions.

Some 48 per cent of respondents to the poll voted flexible working options as the top recommendation to help encourage and retain more female talent in the property and construction sector.

This was followed by the need for more firms to raise awareness of their successful female role models (31 per cent), wider pay gap reporting (14 per cent) and better return to work programmes (seven per cent).

Barry Cullen, head of future talent, diversity and inclusion at RICS says: “Unfortunately we see the highest proportion of female chartered surveyors leave the profession between the ages of 28 and 35, most likely to raise a family and/or to pursue a career change that fits around their family life.

“However, with the right network of support, these skilled and experienced women should be given the opportunity to return to the industry, and gain any new skills or knowledge required to do their job effectively.

“Employers need to realise that offering flexible working can go a long way in helping to retain talented men and women who have parental responsibilities as it often increases employee morale, engagement, and commitment to the organisation.”