The civil construction industry has for many years been an almost exclusively male workforce. The number of women employed within the sector still remains a small percentage of the total workforce, with men still dominating traditional civil construction roles. However, in recent years, the industry has seen an increase of females interested in civil construction roles.
The civil industry is a unique one; over 70% of revenue flows from government, making it very strict, compliant and procedure focused. Because governments are careful with their money, performance and efficiency is high in the minds of employers,. When we look at the nature of the work, the reality is there is no reason a female cannot perform effectively in a civil construction role.
There's a growing demand for site based, and office based civil roles, ranging from Engineers, Project Managers and HR roles to Site Hands, Machine Operators and Site Supervisors. With this demand, there is also a need for diversifying civil roles, and a need to support the women already working within the industry.
So why is the percentage of women in civil so low?
Because we, as an industry, have done a terrible job of communicating how rewarding this industry is to work in and, on the whole, we have not considered well enough the effects on females of working in a male dominated space. Rather, the industry has been too focused on getting the job done.
CCF NSW has been working with industry leaders to change this.
The Chief Executive of CCF NSW David Castledine stated that "It is completely wrong on so many levels that we have so few females in our industry. Putting aside the equality and ethical issues for a moment, the industry is simply missing out; it is not smart business.
To right this imbalance we need to act to change our language, our imagery, and our actions. It is up to us in the industry to get up and go to women, parents and care givers and say; 'we offer an immensely rewarding career; please consider us'.
It is up to us to show what we in the industry already know; that this is a great industry, and a very welcoming place".
In June 2017 CCF NSW launched the CCF NSW Women in Civil Program. The Program has one goal which is:
To encourage more Women to Join and Remain in the civil industry.