Women in Construction – Gender Pay Gap

Rebekah Valero-Lee diversity


Recent studies reveal that there is still a considerable way to go to bring pay into line for women. The construction industry is in fact ahead of sectors such as real estate, hospitality and transport, but there are still discrepancies. So what are the facts and figures behind the construction gender pay gap? And how can this difference be diminished?

Spot the difference

Inequality in pay between men and women in construction is now less than the all-industry average at 16.3% and 1.8% below the national average according to a survey by the ONS. However, the inequality in pay runs into double figure percentages among site trades. For instance, full-time women architects and civil engineers will be paid around 9.9% and 7.3% less per hour respectively.

Justine Greening, Minister for Women and Equalities makes an interesting point:

“Britain has the lowest gender pay on record. But if we are to help women to reach their potential and eliminate the gender pay gap, we need to shine a light on our workplaces to see where there is more to do.”

Time for change

This year will prove pivotal in terms of the gender pay gap, not only for construction but all sectors, due to the implication of new regulations starting last month (April 2017). These regulations encompass every large employer having to publish their gender pay gap and gender bonus pay gaps. The regulations will affect almost 8,000 employers with around 11,000 employees, and should ultimately shine a light on workplace practices that could be preventing women from reaching the top in their organisations.

The definitive aim is to help employers become more aware of their own glass ceilings and encourage change. This tool will empower both men and women to challenge this issue in their profession and help people to make more informed decisions about their career. It can also have a knock-on-effect for businesses as diverse teams are said to be more productive and boost employee engagement. Therefore, this should then result in a win-win for both employers and employees.

Should you be earning more, do you think there’s a construction gender pay gap? Have a look at our construction salary guide.

Are you interested in construction roles? Why not have a look at the latest infrastructure projects to date, or need inspiration? Check out industry initiatives encouraging women into construction.