According to Go Construct, “women working in construction is on the increase. 37% of new entrants into the industry [last year] that came from higher education are women.” While this sounds promising, we couldn’t help feeling brought back down to earth with a bump when reading that, while intake figures are looking up, only 14% of workers across the entire current UK construction industry are female.
There have been great efforts to encourage women to enter the industry over recent years, and the impact of diversifying our workforce has been seen far and wide. It is so important that, as well as creating opportunities for women to enter the industry, women are supported and valued within it.
Here at Poppet Construction, valuing the work of our employees and co-workers is so important – whether they be female or not. You won’t get the best out of anyone if you put barriers in their way.
Placing expectations on female construction workers – whether that be their capabilities or their potential – purely based on their gender is a hindrance not only to women but to the industry itself. Whether you’re limiting their reach on one site, across one job or across their entire career, limiting any construction worker’s progression is robbing the industry of their potential.
Research shows that just under half of our industry’s employees have never had a female manager. This shows the lack of progression women face within the industry – and, for those who do make it to management positions, there’s the wage gap to contend with (but that’s a conversation for another day).
Of course, sexism isn’t only an issue faced by women in the industry; the power of toxic masculinity has been a hot topic over the recent years, with the impact it can, has and continues to have on men being more unveiled than ever. This is a huge problem within the construction industry, with construction being considered a “boys club” by many.
It bears repeating; you won’t get the best out of anyone if you put barriers in their way. Inclusion is invaluable.
At Poppet Construction, we take the wellbeing of our employees very seriously. Our Hybrid Generation charter is a pledge to make positive change through education, safety and good working practices. The UK construction industry is looking at innovative ways to ensure the right talent is being ‘brought-through’, encouraging the very best people with the right mindset and skill set to join our community. We want to ensure that, once this talent is with us, it doesn’t want to go anywhere.
A huge part of Hybrid Generation is always taking time to ensure people are treated with value and respect and above all encourage a good work-life balance. This includes considering the specific needs of female employees, such as maternity leave and, perhaps more importantly, return-to-work options post-maternity leave. We believe in building careers, and limitations such as poor maternity packages can have a huge impact on women perceiving construction as a long term option. Poppet’s commitment to prioritising a work-life balance includes back-to-work options for those re-entering the workforce following maternity leave.
We’re here to motivate and inspire a new generation of builder: A Hybrid Generation. To us, that generation is diverse in many aspects, but united in one: a commitment to quality, respect and progress.