Women at work! Evaluating equal employment policies and outcomes in construction
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Article publication date: 20 March 2015
The purpose of this paper is to examine equal employment policies in Australia’s male-dominated construction industry and categorise the types of activities undertaken against an equal employment typology to identify links to outcomes for women in the form of increased participation and management.
To explore the issue of low representation of women in construction through the content analysis of 83 construction organisations’ equal employment opportunity (EEO) reports.
This industry is not engaging with equal employment issues and the numbers of women working in the industry and/or management are based on individual decision rather than an institutional commitment to equality in diversity.
Australian legislation mandates organisational reporting of relevant data and offers public access to this information offering a unique data set.
An ageing population means that the predominately older male workforce is leaving construction in greater numbers with fewer potential replacements making new labour markets a vital consideration.
Legislation and organisational policies designed to promote EEO for women have existed in numerous countries for decades. One objective of this legislation was to reduce male domination in senior positions and industries/occupations where women were under-represented. Despite this, few women are employed in construction in operational or management roles worldwide.
This study offers a comprehensive analysis of a male-dominated industry in one jurisdiction rather than a few selected cases and uses a broader rigorous typology for analysis that acknowledges both equal and different treatment options.
French, E. and Strachan, G. (2015), "Women at work! Evaluating equal employment policies and outcomes in construction", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 227-243. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-11-2013-0098
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