The representation of women within the property and construction industry has seen positive changes in recent years, with an increasing number of female professionals in senior roles. However, while this is in line with the wider business landscape, overall there are still fewer women at the top. Change is happening but it is going to take time.
It is very important for businesses to aim to have a diverse workforce, with a mixture of both men and women at all levels throughout the business. Organisations such as Women in Construction and Women in Social Housing (WISH) have been created to showcase the talented female professionals in the sector, and to promote how the sector is moving forward in this area. So why is there still a lack of women in senior roles in property and construction and social housing industries?
Women in social housing positions
Social housing is one area of the property and construction sector that has a variety of roles that often have an outweighed number of men compared to women. There are a lot of women in customer service, sales, and housing management roles in social housing, but less in technical roles such as new build, maintenance, and property services.
It is important for businesses to try to attract talented professionals to hire at all levels of the business, as both female and male talent will be able to develop their skills and eventually progress to more senior roles. Attracting a more diverse workforce to your organisation will bridge the gap and begin to make your business a more attractive place to work.
Challenges when recruiting for traditionally ‘male roles’
When recruiting for a position in your organisation, it is important not to look for a replica of the person who has just left, or for people who are the same as your current team. Recruiting for a fresh face and someone who can bring something new to your team and business will increase diversity and broaden your horizons. Here are some of the challenges you may face when attempting to recruit diversely for traditionally ‘male roles’ in property and construction.
- Few senior female role models in the business can make it hard for women starting out to envisage themselves in senior positions if the top end of the business is very male dominated.
- No representation of females in the business or team can make it very daunting for female professionals considering their career opportunities.
- Lack of flexibility in the workplace makes it hard to re-enter the industry after having children or coming back from a career break.
- The male-dominated reputation that has been awarded to the industry can put some women off.
All of these issues can be rectified if the entirety of your business is dedicated to developing a diverse workforce where women feel comfortable and empowered to excel.
Attracting women in the early stages of their career
Developing your staff for a number of years obviously takes time and commitment. Both women and men are looking for a business that is dedicated to developing them professionally, so they will feel as though they are a part of something that is teaching them valuable professional lessons. Here are some tips for attracting women to the property and construction industry early in their career.
- Tackle the stereotype of women in property and construction roles, showcase women in your business that are thriving with you, as this may inspire others to pursue their career dreams with your organisation.
- Some businesses have started offering apprenticeships and have a fixed number of females on the job shortlists. This way, you can see top talent looking to develop themselves, and be sure to evaluate more women that are interested in the role. Of course, you must choose the person that is right for the role, but it is important to see the scope of female talent that is available to you.
- Attract women whilst they are still in education to get them interested in the sector. They might not have considered opportunities in property and construction before.
- Invest in existing female talent in your organisation. Supporting them in their career journey will enable them to develop professionally in their field.
If you commit to building a diverse and inclusive workforce within your business, then you will eventually attract a bigger and more varied pool of candidates to your organisation. As property and construction can sometimes struggle to be diverse in gender, your business will automatically be set apart from your competition, and you will, in time, have a talented group of women and men working to push your business forward.
If you are interested in hiring top talent to your property and construction business, then get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.
Michael Page Property & Construction
T: +44 115 948 6496