InSite | The Role of Women in Construction

The Role of Women in Construction

By Rachael Ouston In Industry News

This blog looks at the strength of women in construction. There is a common misconception about the construction industry that it’s a sector very much dominated by men.


The number of female construction workers is on the rise. Latest statistics suggest that 14% of construction industry professionals are female – and that figure is rising with more women moving into construction. Misconceptions about gender specific roles are being removed with plenty of opportunities for skill development and career progression for both man and women. 


Suzanne Nichol - A Leading Woman in Construction

According to Suzannah Nichol MBE, the Chief Executive at Build UK, construction is an industry that goes above and beyond to help people achieve their potential. Suzannah wanted to get involved in construction ever since undertaking a day’s work experience. She went on to become a site engineer before she became Director of Health and Safety at the National Specialists Contractors Council (NSCC) in 2002. She was awarded an MBE in 2005 for service to the construction industry. 


She credits the construction industry itself with her success. She said: “If you show both enthusiasm and interest, colleagues at all levels are quick to share their expertise and help you progress.” 


At this year’s Premier Guarantee Excellence Awards, Julie Harris from Pennyfarthing Homes was awarded the 2018 Site Manager of the Year. Julie’s impressive accolade serves to highlight the current position of women in the construction industry. On winning the award, Julie commented:


“Winning the Site Manager of the Year award means everything to every Site Manager out there. We work so hard to achieve a very high standard” 


Mike Swatton, Business Development Director for Premier Guarantee and Excellence Awards judge, said the following on the win: 


“To be a successful Site Manager you need to be equipped with a number of vital skills; these include leadership, technical knowledge, planning & organisational skills and, not least, a determination not to accept second best. Julie Harris of Pennyfarthing Homes possesses all of these in abundance, as well as the much deserved respect from her site team.” 


There are several organisations that specialise in connecting women in construction.


The aptly named ‘Women into Construction’ is an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides support to women who want to work in the building sector. It also assists contractors to recruit highly motivated, trained women, helping to reduce skills gaps and create a more gender-equal work force. 


The membership organisation is supported by industry, local councils and training organisations.


‘Chicks with Bricks’ describes itself as a proactive network created to enable and promote female talent in the property and construction industry. Founded by Holly Porter in 2005, it is committed to bringing new and existing members together and at each of its networking events brings together architects, developers, planners, lawyers, tradeswomen, engineers, designers, contractors and surveyors.


Other organisations include:


  •      National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
  •      Women on The Tools
  •      Women in Property
  •      WISE (Women in Science, Technology and Engineering)
  •      Built by Both


All of these exist to not only inspire women to embark on careers within the construction industry, but also pay due respect to those already working within it.


The overarching vision is to level the playing field across the industry, harness the power and skills of women and get rid of the stereotypes once and for all and allow for female construction workers


At Premier Guarantee® we firmly believe our teams should be as diverse as the clients we work with.


As one of the UK’s leading structural warranty experts, we’ve got hundreds of staff, men and women, who work nationally and internationally, providing specialist knowledge and hands-on experience to deliver real results and meet the needs of every development.


Account managers, building control and technical experts, in-house surveyors, and dedicated plan review teams – we are all here to meet the needs of your projects. 


If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our Customer Service team today.”