Study shows women in the construction industry face harassment, discrimination

Workwear Guru has released the results of a study highlighting the harassment, discrimination, sexism and pay inequity women in the construction industry face on a daily basis on worksites.

The study was based on the number of women sharing their experiences on social media app TikTok, and encouraging other female workers to speak up if they are facing similar treatment.

According to Workwear Guru, while 1.2 million women work in construction, only 2.5 per cent are tradespeople. A UK annual survey of women in construction in 2020 also revealed that 72 per cent of women in construction face discrimination, up from 66 per cent in 2005 – that means more women are voicing their experiences.

The company found several common themes in the TikTok videos they reviewed, including hearing women talking about receiving less important roles than male co-workers, earning less money, being subjected to sexist statements such as “So how did a pretty girl like you do to end up in construction,” and “you’re a female, you can’t work in a man’s field,” as well as mansplaining, verbal abuse and threats to women who speak up, and even comments from sub-contractors such as “[is it your] father’s business?” Women also discussed how they face social stereotypes, with one woman writing “If you see a woman in a hardware store, don’t ask her where her husband is or if she knows how to use a hammer.” Others noted the lack of properly-fitting work wear designed for women. Click here to read more on work wear for women.

The report also notes that 47 per cent of women in construction believe the male-dominated culture is the number one reason women leave the industry, and 38 per cent consider discrimination as the reason women quit.

Click here to read the full Workplace Guru study.


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