Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the third quarter of 2021, women made up just 10% of the total UK workforce in construction. The figures were slightly up from 2020 but the statistics still reveal how male-dominated the sector is.
Women should be able to thrive in construction, whether on construction sites or in a variety of other functions, from site managers to civil engineers, architects to quantity surveyors – just like men. But as in other industries, women often need to overcome more obstacles to get the opportunity and recognition they deserve.
However, these challenges fail to deter some women from seeking work in the sector, with many finding success in their chosen field.
One of such, is Shaynee Davis, bricklayer at RJ Muir Partnership. We spoke to Shaynee whilst she worked on our development at Merrett Court, Melksham.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
“I really enjoy bricklaying, it is so good to do something a bit different! The things I love the most are the people, everyone in the industry is very welcoming and it’s a really social job. The summer weather is good too, as long as it’s not raining!”
Have you faced any challenges in the industry?
“Nothing major, a few stereotypical comments here and there but mostly everyone has been friendly and supportive.”
Where do you see your career progressing in the future?
“I did want to work my way up and go into site management on day, but now I’m leaning more towards property development.”
Have you won any awards?
“I won England Apprentice of the Year at the 2019 Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Apprenticeship Awards.”
The CITB Apprenticeship Awards celebrate the achievements of apprentices and employers across the country for their commitment and dedication to construction.
Jenny Arnold, apprenticeship officer at the CITB, said at the time: “Shayne doesn’t let her small frame or her gender stop her from achieving in her construction career. She leads by example and is the first to put herself forward to learn new skills.”
What advice would you give to young girls looking to get into construction?
“Why not give it a go! It’s a great industry with many roles to choose from, good money and decent people.”