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Around 79% of women in the UK construction industry have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, according to new research.

Human resources and recruitment specialist Randstad carried out the poll of 4,200 construction workers in 2019.

The company’s latest report also showed that 41% of female construction workers received inappropriate comments from male colleagues and that 45% of those women who reported having been sexually harassed said it impacted their careers.

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad Construction Property & Engineering, said, “Women in the industry are still encountering an unconscious but pervasive gender bias that is holding them back. While misogyny and outright sexism are a problem, there are also less obviously malevolent factors at play, too – male dominated culture and a lack of female role models may be less obnoxious than downright discrimination and sexual harassment but are still pushing women out of the industry.”

According to the company’s research, 47% of women leaving their construction industry careers did so because of a “male dominated culture” and while 30% of women blamed outright discrimination, 35% said it was due to a lack of flexible hours and 33% said they left their construction industry jobs due to stress.

While the number of women who reported experiencing gender discrimination had decreased 8%, down from 80% in 2018, Randstad said the construction industry was ‘still playing catch up’.

Goodhead said, “There is still progress to be made. Almost half of women in construction still feel marginalised at work because of their gender.

“Gender equality should be the absolute norm in the workplace and diversity should be a watchword in construction – not for its own sake, but because of the excellence that a diverse range of talents bring to the industry. We need to brick-up sexism.”

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