Demand for more female workers in building industry

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 5:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 7:12 pm

A third of home owners would rather hire a female builder, as opposed to a male builder, if given the choice, according to new research.

Key findings from research undertaken by the Federation of Master Builders show that 30 per cent, almost a third of home owners across the UK would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home, as opposed to a male worker.

Women feel particularly positive about hiring female builders with 35 per cent saying they would prefer to hire a female tradesperson to complete a task in their home.Of those who reported feeling more positive about hiring a female builder, the reasons were:- 51 per cent think female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home;- 46 per cent would like to support more women working in non-traditional job roles;- 42 per cent might feel more at ease with a female tradesperson;- 37 per cent think female tradespeople might be more trustworthy;- 35 per cent think female tradespeople might be friendlier;- 30 per cent think women often have better attention to detail than men;- 20 per cent prefer the company of women;- 18 per cent relate better to other women;- 16 per cent would be a novelty and a welcome change to hire a female builder.

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Despite these results, 30 per cent fewer people would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction than their sons;And nearly two-thirds of the general public are ‘gender blind’ when choosing their builder or tradesperson and wouldn’t care whether they were a man or a woman.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “There’s a clear appetite among consumers for more women to enter the building industry with one third of home owners saying they would rather hire a female builder.“There are numerous reasons for this and chief among them is that these home owners feel female tradespeople might be more respectful of their home.“Consumers are also keen to support more women working in non-traditional job roles which is a breath of fresh air. However, there’s a serious gap in the market here as currently only two per cent of tradespeople are women.”

He added: “The construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage and until we appeal to women – who obviously make up fifty per cent of the population – we’re unlikely to dig ourselves out of this skills hole.”

Debi Sporn, from Sporn Construction Ltd, who has worked in construction for more than 16 years, said: “The public perception of the construction industry is changing but not quickly enough.“As a woman working in construction, I’m able to bring a different perspective to our firm and how it operates. Not only that, clients to seem respond well to the fact that our company employs both men and women.“Construction is an exciting sector to work in and I would absolutely recommend pursuing a career in our industry.”