David Cameron has announced that the government plans to tackle the gender pay gap “within a generation”.
In November last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures suggested that the gender pay gap was at its narrowest since comparative records began in 1997.
The ONS has stated that the number of women who work as roofers, bricklayers and glaziers is currently so low as to be essentially unmeasurable.
BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans said it is essential for the construction industry – both now and in the future – that there is a drive to increase the number of women studying STEM subjects at university – especially engineering.
The current statistics for women in the construction workplace is about 12% compared to 47% in other industries.
Ms Evans said: “Our industry’s lack of progress towards equality is shameful. Aside from the lack of diversity, from a practical perspective, with one in five workers soon to reach retirement, the industry needs to increase its skilled workforce. It must start attracting and retaining talented professionals regardless of gender, age or ethnicity.
“Women have struggled to get an equal footing in construction, but the representation of women in our industry has waxed and waned in recent history, demonstrating that, government leadership is crucial in this important debate.”
Last year, the government recognised the issue of a lack of available skilled labour and announced a £30m fund to secure supply of engineers and boost the number of women in the sector.
The funding will support employer-led training to encourage career conversions and progression in the industry.