No gender equality in construction ‘until 2194’
There won’t be gender equality in construction until 2194 if the current rate of progress remains the same.
That’s according to the GMB union, which has analysed official figures and found that the share of women in the industry has only crept up in recent years, from 10.4% in 2009 to 12.5% in 2018.
There are an estimated 60,972 more women in the construction industry than there were in 2009 – but as a proportion of the overall workforce the female share of the labour force increased by just 2.1 percentage points.
The news came as GMB arranged a summit with the major construction companies working on the £18bn Hinkley Point C project to discuss the lack of women in construction.
GMB said it would meet Hinkley Point bosses and contractor Doosan Babcock to discuss ways to recruit more women on the construction of the nuclear reactor.
Jude Brimble, GMB national secretary, said: “Our analysis is a sobering reminder of the scale of the challenge facing the industry. As a union we are committed to advancing the cause of gender equality in all industries.
“That’s why we have arranged our ground-breaking Hinkley Point summit where we will discuss with the major players how to increase the number of women in the construction of the project.”
Andy Colquhoun, chief executive of Doosan Babcock said: “Historically the engineering construction industry in the UK has been male dominated; Doosan Babcock’s drive in relation to diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a core element of our education, attraction and recruitment programmes.
“Increasing awareness and creating routes for women to enter the industry and contribute to a project such as Hinkley Point C is not only the smart thing to do but also morally right. The Hinkley Point C project allows us to progress this further in partnership with our client EDF and with our Trade Union partners.”
Nigel Cann, HPC delivery director, said: “We want to support more women entering the industry and to encourage progression of those who are already working with us. Success in this area is already being seen within EDF Energy’s apprenticeships where almost 40% of the current cohort are female – a substantial improvement against industry averages.”