Working hours, inflexibility and the glass ceiling

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  1. Disappointing to see a continued lack of action by some relating to the CDM welfare requirements and the uptake of women on the tools.
    It is a shame to see such a disproportionate representation between management and workforce.

  2. I am a professor teaching at Cal Poly , San Luis Obispo, California in the CM department. One of the best in the country. We share the women in construction issue but next academic year women student recruitment into our CM degree has jumped to 25% so very encouraging. I can put your graduates in touch with our graduates to exchange information. Barry Jones FCIOB

  3. It is very interesting to hear about the lack of specialist personal protective wear for women in the construction industry.
    I have recently produced a double layer, 100% merino base layer beanie, designed to be worn under safety helmets especially for women. ( for those with long hair there is an option of a pony tail slit)
    It is made from ultra fine 100% merino wool which is naturally wicking, odour resistant and unbelievably comfortable.
    Please feel free to contact me if anyone wants to discuss this further

  4. I’ve been in construction for 35 years and I don’t hold with the notion that these are female or male issues, but just one of people issues.

    If you are working to 10pm or 11pm to prove yourself, what does that say for your self confidence as a person (not a female)? If you wonder if people trust you, why would they trust you less as a women than a person?

    We are either the sort of people who “just get on with it” and gain respect because people think we deserve respect (as a person and not as a female), or we play “the girl card” and highlight differences, when actually, as people on building sites and in offices, we’re all pretty different – as people – but actually too, pretty much all the same too – just people working in teams for the good of their cIients and own companies.

    So let’s get building our buildings, our work relationships, our good reputations and our respect!
    Elizabeth Glasbey 10 July 2017

  5. As a Design Manager, with a four year old and a 7month old the lack of flexibility is a key factor in my decision on whether to stay in the industry.

    After I returned to work following my first child I was able to work three days a week but my chances of promotion where very limited. When we relocated I found it very difficult to secure a position doing four days a week and ended up contracting. Whilst this was more flexible, it also offers uncertainty at a time when you need the most stability.

    Now I’m starting to think about returning to work in October following the birth of my second child, but with my older son starting school and a baby also requiring childcare I really don’t want to be in the position of leaving them both for over 10 hours a day.

    I see the importance of being on site everyday to ensure things are moving along but it would be much better for me if I could work from 7-2pm in order to collect my children. The construction industry is extremely inflexible in part time working. I have over 10 years experience of working in construction but it seems a huge waste of my skills for me to leave the industry just because I need to work part time to balance my family commitments.

  6. If you think life in construction for women is difficult, you should have tried it when I joined the industry in 1973!!!!

    It’s a picnic now by comparison, but the same problems still exist, except in terms of welfare – you no longer have to carry a loo roll, and check out the garages, supermarkets and pubs for toilet facilities!!!

    Having worked in the industry for 40-plus years, I have seen a lot of changes in attitude and facilities, and have to say that the only way you earn the respect of your colleagues and clients is to be better than the man, be authoritative, and dedicated. There is no room for chancers, male or female, in any industry and construction is no different.

  7. It’s not exactly an even playing field for men either. More and more we see the yes men promoted again and again. The sad thing is we are already seeing the negative impact of promoting the yes men. Perhaps if management embraced the opinions of those they label as “disruptive” tragedies like the Grenfell fire might be avoided. Being male is no guarantee of success it’s really about popularity. The construction industry is no respecter of knowledge nor is it a meritocracy.

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