As the house building revival in the UK takes force, record numbers of women are being taken on by the industry, signifying a change for the better.
There are a number of job openings out there, from those where you can get down and get your hands dirty to managerial positions where you get to boss around a male dominated bunch of builders. Perhaps you could even get them to pull up their trousers.
More and more women are showing an interest in donning a hard hat and getting involved with building, but it’s not all so easy to bag a position. The industry is faced with widespread skills shortages triggered by the latest spurt of house building.
Since 400,000 people left the industry during the recession, hourly rates for skilled construction workers have increased dramatically in the past year. If hard hats haven’t done it for you then maybe that will.
Get out and gain the qualifications and skills required and you’ll be set to tackle the jobs market. Civil engineering and construction courses are available across the country.
“The industry is changing and it is changing for the better,” said Avni Mehta, deputy project manager on a £500m housing project at 190 Strand in central London. Seven of her 20-person team at developer St Edward are women, including architects, people working on the commercial side and in administration. At St Edward, 43% of staff are female.
The proportion of women working in construction in the UK has crept up from 11.7% in 1999 to 13.4% in 2014, according to the Office for National Statistics. Women account for 286,000 of a construction workforce of 2.1m.
In manual roles, though, that percentage falls to just 1.3%, barely changed from 1.2% in 1999. Many people might prefer to steer clear of the hard manual graft, but if you take pleasure from shovelling cement and standing in the rain, then start filling in your applications quick.
You’d better get practicing your wolf whistling too!