Attracting and retaining young professional women in the construction industry

Secatore, C and Scott-Young, C 2016, 'Attracting and retaining young professional women in the construction industry', in Proceedings of the 40th Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference, Cairns, Australia, 6-8 July 2016, pp. 514-524.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Attracting and retaining young professional women in the construction industry
Author(s) Secatore, C
Scott-Young, C
Year 2016
Conference name The 40th Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference
Conference location Cairns, Australia
Conference dates 6-8 July 2016
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 40th Australasian Universities Building Education Association Conference
Publisher Central Queensland University
Place of publication North Rockhampton, Australia
Start page 514
End page 524
Total pages 11
Abstract Women are underutilised in the Construction Industry, making up only 11.8% of its employees in Australia. Online survey responses of young Australian female construction professionals were used to explore 1. what attracted them into the Construction Industry, 2. what challenges they experienced, and 3. what helped retain them in the Industry. Responses to the open-ended survey questions were coded and thematically analysed. Many of the young women were initially attracted to architecture and design, but later switched to construction. A quarter were temperamentally attracted to project work due to their skills in planning and organising; others were attracted to the nature of the Industry and the diversity of its roles and projects; while others were interested in the Industry at a very young age; or attracted due to family connections in the Construction Industry. The young women's main challenges were feeling like they had to continuously prove themselves to male co-workers; a lack of experience in the Construction Industry; and finding that long working hours placed demands on their personal lives. All the respondents planned to stay in the Construction Industry: most were excited by the opportunities for career advancement; were motivated by the training opportunities provided; and by changes in the Industry towards equal opportunity. These findings are encouraging: the young professional women displayed passion for their work and felt that despite its challenges, the Construction Industry offers them exciting future career prospects.
Subjects Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) attraction
retention
construction industry
young professional women
Copyright notice Copyright The Authors, 2016. All Rights Reserved.
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