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Women paid up to a third less than men in construction

Women are paid up to 33 per cent less than their male counterparts in the same role in the construction industry, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

According to Construction News, the data revealed that female building trades supervisors are paid 33 per cent less than their male counterparts, meanwhile female architects earn 25 per cent less than men in the same role.

On average, women working in the construction industry are paid 12 per cent less than men in the same roles.

The CITB has called for immediate action to address the pay gap between men and women in the construction industry.

Largest pay gaps

33 per cent – construction and building trades supervisors

25 per cent – architects

24 per cent – electrical  and electronic technicians

24 per cent – glaziers, window fabricators and fitters

22 per cent – mobile machine drivers and operators


CITB fairness, inclusion and respect manager Kate Lloyd said: “What possible justification can there be for paying men and women different rates for doing what, to all intents and purposes, is the same job?

“As an industry, we need to address this issue, and fast. If we fail to bridge these wage gaps, we won’t be able to attract women into this industry or keep them. It’s as simple as that.”

Responding to the recent statistics, Seddon training and education executive Roy Cavanagh MBE said: “As an industry, construction is crying out for talented women to get involved and take advantage of the career opportunities on offer.

“However, if the wage gap remains, up to 55 percent of the working population will be alienated and the prospect of recruiting or retaining women will be negligible.”

According to labour market statistics from the ONS, the number of women employed in the industry rose by 13.5 per cent to 263,000 in the final three months of 2013, compared with the previous year.

However, women continue to make up just 12 per cent of the construction industry’s workforce.

Constructing Equality managing director Chrissi McCarthy said: “We need to focus on retention and understand why women, compared to men, disproportionately leave the industry as their careers develop.

“Maternity is only responsible for a third of women leaving the sector so we must ask the question ‘is the fact that we are paying women less, indicative of the fact that we value them less?’ If so, it’s likely that they will have noticed and we must therefore consider the impact that this has on their career choices.”

Earlier this month, a CITB survey into the language used by workers in the construction industry revealed that 12 per cent of women admitted to having their confidence knocked by offensive language used in the industry, while 4 per cent said they had left a job because of it.

The survey of more than 500 on- and off-site construction workers found that 61 per cent had heard sexist language at work in the past year, while 14 per cent said they heard it once a week or more.

A third of women reported having offensive language directed at them at work in the past 12 months, but only 4 per cent reported it to a manager.

In a bid to create a fairer and more inclusive workplace and workforce, CITB is working with industry to roll out the BeFair Framework, which will launch in June.

Developed in partnership with Constructing Equality, the BeFair Framework aims to transform working environments across all segments of construction and address negative cultures and practices to create a fair, inclusive and respectful industry for everyone.

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