Barriers Women UK Construction

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Barriers to Women in the UK Construction Industry

Title: HRM Dissertation Barriers to Women in the UK Construction Industry. In the 21st Century the idea of women in the workplace has become a widely accepted notion not just by society but also being enshrined in law with the introduction of the Equal Pay Act (1970), the Sex Discrimination Act (1975), and the Equality Act (2010). As a result of this, many sectors within the UK economy have seen an increase in the equal representation of men and women in the workplace with occupations such as elementary education resulting in women forming 46% of workers, in the professional sector women make up 50% and within management and senior official roles women constitute only 33%. However, in stark contrast of these progressive figures, women form only 11% of the entire construction Industry with 80% of these roles that women occupy being in fact merely support roles carrying out things like secretarial work; only 15% of women are actually part of the professional body of employees- this constitutes just 1.5% of professionals in the entire industry.


In 2006, Greed went so far as to say that these secretarial roles are not contributing to, or not being part of the construction process. It appears that although the construction industry has innovated in terms of methods and practices the same old ideas of it being a male-dominated world still remains. In order for the industry to thrive and remain relevant in these modern times it must adapt itself, and let go of this man’s world culture by encouraging and recruiting more women. It is on this basis that more Investigation must be done as to why there is such a lack of female presence within the construction industry and how as an industry it can attract the young girls of today’s society so that the industry will have a more representative and diverse future.

Dissertation Aims and Objectives

The aim of this research is to look into and analyse why there is such a lack of females within the UK construction industry, what can be done to change the perception of the industry as being a man’s world and attract the future generation of women to consider the industry as a viable career choice.

  • To investigate and evaluate if there is an actual need for women within the professional sector of the UK construction industry.
  • To compare the lack of women in the construction industry with other industries in the UK, and then with other EU member countries as a whole.
  • To examine the reasons why there is a severe lack of women within the UK built environment profession in the modern era.
  • To assess how those in secondary schools view construction and ascertain if they see a future within the industry.
  • To evaluate how the industry is trying to tackle this issue and whether these are having a positive impact or if more needs to be done.

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Proposed Methods

2 – Literature Review
The need for women in professional roles within construction
Benefits to more women in construction
Comparison within UK and EU
Profession comparison
Comparison with the medical profession
Comparison of UK construction industry to the of Europe
Hurdles to women in construction
The choice between career or children
Flexibility and maternity leave
The construction Industry as sexist
Lack of female role models
The views of secondary pupils
Efforts of the construction industry
Employers role
Female construction organisations

3 – Methodology
Primary research
Quantitative research
Qualitative research
Selected Methodology
The Questionnaire
Selection criteria
Structured interview
Selection criteria
Desk Research

4 – Data Analysis
Questionnaire results
Interview results
Background information
University Life
Social aspects of university
Post university

5 – Discussion of Results
Preconception about construction
Role models
Sexism in the industry
Efforts of the construction industry
Employers role
Female construction organisations
Enthusiasm of female students

6 – Results and Conclusions
Analysis of Research Objectives
Final conclusion



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Steve Jones

My name is Steve Jones and I’m the creator and administrator of the dissertation topics blog. I’m a senior writer at and hold a BA (hons) Business degree and MBA, I live in Birmingham (just moved here from London), I’m a keen writer, always glued to a book and have an interest in economics theory.

9 thoughts on “Barriers Women UK Construction”

  1. I know a female engineer who was perplexed at the attitude of men who would call her company to ask about the Engineer on-site, and when she responds in the affirmative, they would still be in doubt about her working as the engineer on ground.

  2. Nice article Steve. The man’s world culture has played a negative role in the involvement of women in certain job descriptions. Companies need not specify gender for such duties.

  3. There are success stories of women in construction, take the 5 women listed on the 2018 Rich List who have made their worth in construction industries. It goes without saying that construction is stereotypically male-dominated but times are changing and taking their claim in industries that ‘traditionally’ they would not be associated with.

    1. Hi Jenna, I totally agree with your comments. Construction is male-dominated but evidence suggests that the UK construction industry is offering more opportunities to women especially at board level.

  4. As there are different rules which need to be follow for every woman in construction industry as there is exemption in construction industry for women’s too proper methodology needs to be follow in construction industry for women.

  5. It is a common research subject in psychology and has been studied in many different aspects that women differ to men in the construction industry. The most popular one is how a women need to feel more confident in the presence of men especially in construction. Perhaps the fear factor still exists for women?

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