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Women earn up to 62% less than men in construction

22 March 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Kasipat/Dreamstime.com

Some construction firms are paying women up to 62% less per hour than men, it has been revealed.

Under government regulations introduced last April, businesses with more than 250 employees are required to file details of their gender pay gap before 4 April 2018.

So far, only 84 construction firms have details of their gender pay gap published on the government’s official register, but the figures already reveal stark differences in pay between men and women.

Among the companies shown to have the largest difference in pay are building services firm James Frew, where the women’s hourly rate is 62% lower (on a mean basis) than men, and Lorne Stewart, where the women’s hourly rate is 45.6% lower.

Big names in the construction sector to have published their analysis so far include Lendlease Construction (Europe), which was the first contractor to do so.

Its analysis shows that women’s hourly rate of pay is 30.4% lower than men’s on a mean basis.

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Meanwhile, BAM Nuttall’s hourly rate for women is 26.2% lower and Costain’s is 10% lower (although Costain Engineering and Construction pays women an hourly rate 26.6% lower than men).

Among the best performers were Marshall Construction, where women’s hourly rate is 0.3% higher than men’s, groundworks and civil engineering firm Tithegrove, where it is also 0.3% higher, and Falcon Tower Crane Services, where women’s hourly rate was 0.3% lower.

Overall, only two thirds of the UK’s biggest businesses have submitted information on the average difference between what male and female employees are paid.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has warned that it will be “fully enforcing” the pay gap legislation and will write to firms that do not report by the 4 April deadline.

If businesses continue to fail to publish the figures then they could face an unlimited fine.

Firms with fewer than 250 employees can submit analysis of their gender pay gap voluntarily.

Chrissi McCarthy, managing director of Constructing Equality, said: “While the pay gap in construction is embarrassing it should not be surprising given the stories women are still telling about their time in industry. 

“If the sector now wants to enact positive change it needs to move its focus away from recruitment and entry level and start to understand the real and complex experiences of women in the sector. 

“This does not mean putting women on the spot and demanding they provide solutions but rather realising this is a complex issue with more than one factor at play and employing experts to help them navigate these waters. 

“Importantly until companies recognise that the gender pay gap is a symptom of poor people management and a real challenge to the longer term business bottom line, we are unlikely to see the resource and thinking that needs to be employed to really challenge these statistics.” 

Comments

This state of affairs is shocking and cannot continue. The industry has always been experience led, therefore your experience denotes the value of your pay packet and not your gender. I would not be able to forgive myself if I paid a woman less for completing the same task as a man. I would gladly accept more women on site as I am fed up with the testosterone fuelled environment in which I am currently forced to work. Women on the whole can bring balance and harmony to the workplace, something decidedly lacking in our industry today.

C Betts, 22 March 2018

Averages don't mean anything, unless you expect a secretary to be paid the same as someone running a large site.

Specific data is what counts, and I don't see any mention of it being collected.

John, 24 March 2018

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