Gender Equality in Construction: How Welfare Units Can Improve Inclusivity
Blog-March 4, 2021
In terms of gender equality, construction has a long way to go: just 13% of construction workers are female, and only 1% of those work onsite.
The benefits of increasing diversity are clear, from increasing the talent pool we can draw from to broader perspectives on strategic and creative problems. Overall, research suggests organisations with greater gender equality are 15% more likely to earn more than competitors, and are 6 times more likely to innovate.
But that doesn’t mean increasing female representation is straightforward: it will take time and effort to make construction truly inclusive. And it all starts with the kind of culture you build onsite.
What kind of environment is your site?
It can be difficult to detect a lack of inclusivity – in many cases, it is just considered the norm. But organisations and contractors who wish to increase the diversity of their teams should scrutinise the way their teams interact onsite.
Simple factors like building team morale and ensuring onsite comfort can have a dramatic impact on the kind of workplace culture that emerges. And that can be heavily influenced by things as simple as the equipment you hire.
Take our ECO14 welfare unit: with 2 separate smart water WCs, 3 hot water basins, a supersized separate drying and changing room, and an extra-large welfare room, there’s enough space for 14 workers. This enables teams to spend time together in comfort, with our large, dynamic design and layout providing market-leading welfare, hygiene and break facilities.
The net result is that workers feel more at home onsite, and more valued by their employer. They also become more comfortable in their work environment, creating a more inclusive, productive and safe culture.
With our 360 degree virtual tour, you can see inside our welfare units for yourself:
Small decisions, big impact
Introducing more innovative welfare units to your site might seem like a relatively small step, especially considering the scale of the gender gap in construction. But it’s exactly these kinds of small, practical steps which will gradually build our industry’s ability to attract and retain more diverse talent.
Rather than worrying about the big picture and feeling powerless, we need to start looking at the decisions we do control and figuring out ways to ensure we’re doing the most we can to foster the kind of culture and workforce we want in the future.