UK Construction Media

Construction sector must bridge gender pay gap

News   •   Jul 31, 2017 08:30 BST

A OnePoll survey, commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), has revealed that the construction sector believe the much-publicised gender pay gap can be beaten, with 46% of respondents predicting the difference will shrink below 15% by April 2018. More must be done, however, if the industry is to truly tackle issues of gender equality and sexism, RICS has said.

Somewhat surprisingly, more than one in ten respondents thought that the gender pay gap would be eradicated by April 2018 – an unrealistic expectation, most would agree.

The national average currently sits at 18.1%. But if the construction sector can convert this positivity into actual progress, it may well become an exemplar for the rest of the UK.

The capital was far less receptive however, with Londoners in construction anticipating a gender pay gap of 21% – 3% above the national average.

Unfortunately, the usual divisions were still widespread. Almost a third (30%) of all women surveyed felt sexism had prevented them from occupying a senior construction role, while 38% of men believed they were better suited to the sector than their female counterparts.

Close to half (42%) of all respondents felt construction companies needed to prioritise the training of their female workforce. Many wished to see more businesses investing in future talent to build up diversity, with 40% acknowledging the importance of encouraging young girls to take-up a career in construction.

Sean Tompkins, RICS’ Chief Executive Officer, had this to say: “Although it’s great to see the sector expects the gender pay gap to be lower than the national average, today’s findings highlight that achieving gender equality in the construction sector requires significant commitment from organisations.

“Encouragingly, there is a collective agreement from over a third of both men and women across the industry that companies are not doing enough to attract females into the sector. The findings reveal that it is primarily the responsibility of individual organisations to invest in schemes and nurture more inclusive cultures that support women to hold more senior roles in the construction industry.”