Construction industry could lead the way on closing gender pay gap, RICS says

Nearly half of construction workers predict the gap will be less than 15 per cent by April 2018

Ben Chapman
Wednesday 26 July 2017 17:26 BST
Fears over Brexit hampers the UK property market
Fears over Brexit hampers the UK property market (AFP/Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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The construction industry could become a leader in closing the gender pay gap, according to a new survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that nearly half of construction workers predict the gap will be less than 15 per cent by April 2018. It is currently 18.1 per cent.

More than one in ten respondents said they thought that there will be no gender pay gap at all by April 2018, which marks the end of the UK Government’s mandatory gender pay reporting period.

However, this positive sentiment is markedly absent in the nation’s capital, with Londoners in the construction sector predicting an average pay gap of 21 per cent

Despite a positive outlook, the research found that businesses still need to do more to tackle gender inequality and sexism in the industry.

Nearly a third of women surveyed said they thought sexism holds them back from pursuing senior roles in construction, whilst 38 per cent of men said their skills are better suited to the sector than women.

A total of 42 per cent of those surveyed said they believe companies need to invest more in training their existing female employees, while 40 per cent said that companies need to invest more in encouraging young girls to pursue a career in construction, so that more women enter the profession.

Sean Tompkins, chief executive of RICS said: “Although it’s great to see the sector expects the gender pay gap to be lower than the national average, today’s findings highlight that achieving gender equality in the construction sector requires significant commitment from organisations.

“Encouragingly, there is a collective agreement from over a third (38%) of both men and women across the industry that companies are not doing enough to attract females into the sector.

The findings reveal that it is primarily the responsibility of individual organisations, to invest in schemes and nurture more inclusive cultures that support women to hold more senior roles in the construction industry.

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