Serious workforce imbalance holding back construction sector
In construction, women constitute approximately 12 per cent of the workforce and that needs to change if critical skills shortages are to be overcome.
In an industry as dynamic and complex as property development, diversity is not just a buzzword; it’s a strategic advantage, with success reliant upon harnessing a diverse range of talents and perspectives.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) on Tuesday released a research paper on Tuesday highlighted a lack of focus on gender in housing policy, raising questions about whether housing and homelessness policies and programs are responding the issues that affect one gender more than others.
AHURI has responded to these findings by developing a Gendered Housing Framework for research and policy development.
In my decades of experience in this industry, I’ve witnessed the parallels with housing policy, within the staff composition in the development and construction industry. When you bring together people with different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints, you unlock a wealth of creativity, innovation, and problem-solving prowess.
Organisations fostering inclusive cultures tend to outperform their counterparts in several aspects, including a 39 per cent increase in customer satisfaction, 22 per cent higher productivity, and 27 per cent greater profitability.
- Gallup Workplace Studies
As outlined in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s toolkit titled Women in male-dominated industries, while women make up nearly 46 per cent of the overall Australian workforce, their representation in certain sectors remains significantly lower.
In industries like construction, mining, and utilities, women constitute approximately 12 per cent, 15 per cent, and 23 per cent of the workforce, respectively.
Research indicates that having a substantial number of women across all levels of an organisation, including senior management, correlates with enhanced organisational performance.
Women bring unique perspectives, insights, and approaches to the table that are essential for tackling the complex challenges faced in property development.
From enhancing communication and collaboration to promoting more inclusive decision-making processes, the contributions of women are invaluable at every stage of a project.
Studies have consistently demonstrated a positive relationship between employee engagement and various key performance indicators such as productivity, profitability, employee commitment, and retention.
Cumulative Gallup Workplace Studies reveal that organisations fostering inclusive cultures tend to outperform their counterparts in several aspects, including a 39 per cent increase in customer satisfaction, 22 per cent higher productivity, and 27 per cent greater profitability.
By embracing inclusivity, employers are just shaping the future of property development; they’re shaping the future of our industry.
Given the industry's shortage of young talent, it is imperative for all of us to contribute to its growth. What better strategy than to inspire and support talented young women to embark on careers in property development?