Flexible work is evolving rapidly in many diverse industries around us. At its core stand individuals with potentially greater freedom over when, where or how to fulfill their particular roles. Flexible working is often focused on improving work-life balance, as well as looking after health and wellbeing. Leading as example is our tech industry which is now fast becoming dominated by women working flexible hours, however the construction industry falls behind on not only diversity problems and gender gap, but also the lack of flexi hours and productivity when it comes to a work-life balance for women in this sector.
In recent years, many parts of the industry may have made progress in recruiting women at the start of their careers, but the proportion of women in senior roles is still woeful. For working mothers to the physical impact the job can entail, more agile working needs to be put into place if women are to be retained in the sector.
Taking this on board ‘Construction News’ launched it’s ‘Inspiring Women in Construction’ campaign, which seeks to empower women that have entered the industry to flourish and attain senior positions.
Rick Willmott of Willmott Dixon Holdings exclaimed, ‘progress was indeed apparent’, but added that the industry had started from a low base and that there remained much to do. ‘Sadly, we have been leaving 50 per cent of the gene pool behind,” he said. “Generally speaking, the image of the industry is of a bloke in a hard hat and a hi-vis jacket. We need to get away from that stereotypical view of what the industry is.’
It is important that women’s needs are met to have a desired effect when it comes to staying in the industry long term. Women are looking into their futures and want to know they have a secure job, as some aspire to start a family or become a CEO, and a large number of companies within the construction industry currently fails to promote or offer this. Not offering flexible working hours for women chips away at the types of issues that can prevent women from advancing their careers.
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