The civil construction sector has for many years been an almost exclusively male workforce. But in recent years the number of women involved in the civil construction sector has been on the rise. More and more employers are now actively recruiting women into the industry to achieve not just a diversity of gender, but also of skills and aptitude.
But the number of women employed within the sector remains only a small proportion of the total workforce, with men still dominating traditional civil construction roles.
Civil construction is a diverse industry, and there is a surprising range of job paths available to women interested in entering the industry. There’s a growing need for Engineers, Project Managers, HR roles, Construction Lawyers, Estimators, and so on. But there is also a growing demand for Site Hands, Plant Operators and Site Supervisors.
The civil construction sector has been an enthusiastic adopter of mechanised construction equipment, such as excavators, loaders, dump trucks, graders, rollers and dozers. This has meant those entering the industry can expect to continue working for many years without it taking a toll on their health and fitness.
The sector remains male dominated, however CCF NSW is working with industry to work towards gender diversity becoming more common throughout the industry.
In June 2017 CCF NSW launched the CCF NSW Women in Civil Program aimed at encouraging more women to join and remain in the civil construction and maintenance industry. The Program has the backing of the NSW Government through Women NSW, TAFE NSW - the Program's Partner in Civil Training - and Roads and Maritime Services.
CCF NSW recognises we need to bring more women into the industry to combat skills and labour shortages and rising labour costs.
By balancing gender diversity employers get highly capable workers, a calmer workplace, and access to a huge labour resource that is chronically underutilised.
There's no reason women can't perform all roles in the industry as long as they feel welcome, supported and respected.
The CCF NSW Women in Civil Program aims to do that, and it includes six elements:
- A formal Mentoring Program for approximately 20 females
- Facilitation of networking forums through our Virtual Community initiative (regional NSW focus).
- Identification and heralding of female ‘champions’, including our Women in Civil Excellence Award.
- The launch of our www.careerincivil.com website which has a very deliberate focus on encouraging females to join the industry.
- Informing both school students and parents that the civil industry can be an excellent career option for females.
- An Employers for Women in Civil initiative, which asks employers to publicly commit to supporting women in their businesses with CCF NSW and the NSW Government.