Elevate The System: Boosting Gender Parity In Construction
Behind every successful corporation, lie solid corporate values, a great vision and most importantly a union of talented people. Every successful company welcomes an un-biased recruitment of talent with awareness to what it means for the company and its evolution.
When it comes to corporate culture however, gender parity is often an issue that has been a cause for concern for decades. In middle-eastern culture especially, the construction sector has reported a yield of 10% of annual GDP for the nation. However, being a largely male-dominated sector and women making up only 9% of the total workforce, issues of gender parity are still a cause for concern. Many developed nations such as the United Kingdom, United States of America as well as several as the GCC have stepped up to initiate these values within their corporate sectors.
“UAE’S National Agenda of 2021 aims to boost gender parity in leading sectors within the nation”
For Instance, The Big 5 – Middle East’s largest construction event have taken refreshing initiatives to help U.A.E achieve their 2021 National Agenda. The Women in Construction Seminar and Awards, which was previously introduced in the Big 5 2020 has given successful women in the MENA region a platform to showcase their abilities, failures and struggles on their way up. Some notable figures such as: Jovana Lukac (Structural Engineer at Robert Bird Group) and Suad Khawaja (Area Manager at Parsons). This has significantly shaken the current system allowing many more women to be proud of their capabilities.
It is therefore essential for this change to happen across organizations both small and big in order to fully tackle the deep-rooted issue that gender parity. The Middle-East’s Initiatives have exemplified the significance of women in the industry ten-fold. However, there are steps that every organization can take to bring the nation closer to its agenda.
4 ways to boost gender parity within your organization
Often topics that are shoved under the rug, are the ones we don’t have enough knowledge about. The construction sector has been stereotyped to be equivalent to a position that is physical strenuous or activity that can be challenging to women. However, Health and Safety, Procurement, Construction Management and site inspection are all equally prominent roles in the industry that could be better suited. By changing the perception on the industry and encouraging more women to join hands with the sector, the pre-existing disconnect can be diminished.
2. Create a strategy for change:
In order to boost gender parity, the company culture must also reflect ideals that support women. By generating and investing in programs and advertising methods that encourage recruitment of more women could potentially aid in this.
3. Address the pay gap:
One precedent case that seems to discourage women in the workplace is the prominent pay gap. For generations, working women from all sectors and different regions of the world have undergone discrimination in terms of wages. A recent study had reported a pay gap of 36% in the construction sector in 2018, which now stands at a 20%. By introducing equality and transparency within their pay policy it could make the industry a booming platform for more female leaders.
4. Introduce an Organizational Change:
In order to bring an organizational change, it is vital to recognize what women can bring to the table. Large scale studies have reported that gender balances could help provide deeper insights and more effective decision making within a corporation. It is therefore necessary to not overlook female talent, and encourage more women to step into board-level positions could bring enormous change.