Earthmoving News, Workplace Health & Safety

Women in construction survey flags lack of safety equipment

A new report from the US highlights a dearth of appropriate safety equipment and toilet facilities for women in construction

US construction workforce management software company Lumber has released a new report, She Builds Nation, shedding light on the challenges faced by women in the construction industry. Lumber surveyed over 100 women construction owners, executives and decision-makers to highlight critical issues impacting women in construction.

Among the notable revelations, 67 per cent of respondents cited the dearth of gender-friendly (smaller-sized) safety equipment such as PPEs, safety harnesses and hard hats, with 85 per cent expressing concerns over the absence of maternity-friendly safety gear. Additionally, 64 per cent of women reported the absence of women’s restroom facilities at construction sites, highlighting a significant gap in infrastructure to address their needs.

Despite these obstacles, the report also underscores positive trends, with 72 per cent of respondents acknowledging increased opportunities for women’s advancement within the industry. Moreover, 67 per cent find integration into a predominantly male-centric environment relatively smooth, contingent upon the fostering of an inclusive organisational culture.

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However, the survey reveals a nuanced landscape concerning gender equality and support structures. While 51 per cent of respondents perceive equal pay opportunities for women, the remaining respondents voice concerns about pay parity and assertiveness in negotiation. Similarly, 55 per cent express reservations regarding the adequacy of support systems available to women in construction, suggesting a need for enhanced awareness and access to existing resources.

Attracting and retaining female talent emerged as a significant challenge, with 52 per cent of respondents citing difficulties in this regard. Respondents felt that addressing this requires the implementation of targeted outreach initiatives, mentorship programs, flexible scheduling options and comprehensive training to bolster female representation and retention within the industry.

Of those surveyed, 66 per cent of respondents says career prospects and growth avenues exist for women in construction.

“In unveiling the ‘She Builds Nation’ report, we’re not just shedding light on the challenges faced by women in construction; we’re igniting a conversation and catalysing action towards a more inclusive, equitable industry,” Lumber CEO and founder Shreesha Ramdas says.

Lumber director of client relations and former construction company owner Meghan Schoen says: “At Lumber, we’re committed to empowering women in construction, and this report underscores the urgency of addressing systemic barriers and fostering environments where every individual can thrive. Together, we can build a future where diversity is celebrated, opportunities abound, and women play a pivotal role in shaping the construction landscape.”

This report can be downloaded at www.lumberfi.com/shebuildsnation

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