Women on the rise?

More women are now working in construction related industries in the UK according to the latest studies and statistics.

Power tools supplier Protrade highlights the fact that while 24,530 individuals embarked on construction related apprenticeships in the UK last year, only 10 percent of them were women, although this is a two percent increase from the previous year.

The UK desperately needs more people to enter the industry across all of its sectors. Current forecasts indicate that the UK is likely to have the fastest growing construction market among major Western European economies over the next 15 years. But that growth is bound to be dependent on the availability of skilled people.

A report from major contractor Morgan Siddall entitled: 'Are we Gen Z ready?' claims that 57 percent of women perceive the construction field as being male dominated - which to be fair it still is - dissuading them from pursuing careers in it, whilst the Women's Engineering Society highlights the fact that only 12.3 percent of engineers in the UK are women - not really surprising.
Female students at one of the Nifty 'Women in Engineering' workshops

Other reports estimate that women make up just 14.7 percent of the UK construction workforce, which is apparently 33 percent lower than the national average across other industries suggesting that much of the skilled labour shortage could solved if enough women could be persuaded to join the industry and bring the gender balance up to the national average.

Craig Sander of Protrade said: "Women have been in construction, but for a long time have only been associated with roles such as architecture and design. There is a reason for the stigma about women and construction and it comes down to the fact that women are not often seen on site.”
Women at a Böcker factory event last year

"However, there has been a shift. Women are finding themselves in roles where it's not just about designing something but building it too. As more women enter the industry, the old stereotypes are being removed. Gender equality has come a long way in the UK over the last decade and far more businesses are seeking equality in the workplace. That itself will only encourage more women to follow suit.”

“The UK construction sector is slowly becoming more inclusive, but there is still a long way to go and many more hurdles to overcome to be at the same level as other industries in regard to diversity."
Female students on a site visit to the Niftylift facility in Milton Keynes

The number of people starting construction related apprenticeships:
2018-19 = 22,530
2019-20 = 21,920 (-2%)
2020-21 = 19,960 (-8%)
2021-22 = 26,060 (+30%)
2022-23 = 24,530 (-5%)

See: See Protrade report