Emma Honey
Posted on 7 Mar 2017

International Women's Day – shining a light on women in the property and construction sector

We spoke to three of our female clients working in the property and construction sector to find out why they love working in the industry and uncover what their roles entail day-to-day.

Whilst the UK's property and construction sector is thriving and a significant number of women have entered property-related careers in recent years, females still represent only 15% of the industry's workforce.

According to recent Experian forecasts, property and construction output is set to increase by 4.3% in 2017 – almost double the forecasted overall economic growth figure of 2.1% for the same year. This growth will require more talented women, as well as men, to enter the workforce, and women are expected to make up over a quarter of the total property and construction workforce by 2020.

Whilst the sector is still widely perceived as male-dominated, women have continued to make impressive progress to harnesses opportunities and make their mark. A general shortage of skills in property and construction is helping to drive up wages − with women in the industry paid on average 60% more today than they were ten years ago. The industry also offers a wide variety of roles and specialisms from engineering to sales, alongside a high sense of achievement due to the tangible nature of building.  Many companies are already being proactive in harnessing the skills women can bring to the industry with the aim of avoiding a skills crisis and to redress the gender imbalance.

Despite these opportunities, there are also challenges – including the perception of property and construction as fundamentally 'macho', a lack of suitable female role models already in place, and a lack of flexibility. Another challenge, and possibly the most important to resolve in terms of attracting talented new females into the industry, is a lack of broad awareness of job roles and uncovering the truth behind preconceptions.

This International Women's Day, we speak to three of our female clients working in the property and construction sector, to find out why these women love working in the industry and uncover what their roles really entail day-to-day.

You can read the full interviews with Sara Parker, Sales Director, Barratt David Wilson Homes, Penny Cameron of Stanhope plc and Jo Davis, Regional Senior Director of GVA.

International Women's Day on 8 March 2017 is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Sources of information:

  • Report: Women in the UK construction industry in 2016 – Randstad
  • The Association of Women in Property