It is not easy working in a male-dominated industry. They tend to be primed with a chauvinistic culture and lack gender equality. Construction is as male-dominated as they come. Only 13%-15% of the labour force are women and a recent study by UENI revealed that only 4.9% of construction services companies are women-owned.
These stark statistics reveal just how underrepresented women are in the industry and the vast amount of work needed. Leading the GMB, the union for construction workers to declare that at the current rate, it will take almost 200 years to achieve gender equality in the construction industry.
On its own, the industry will take a long time to catch up with more progressive industries. It is imperative that women take a leading role in creating a ripple effect of change and instigating a lot of the changes they want to see. If they do not, the status quo will take longer to change and women will continue to struggle for the equality they so deserve.
A sure way to create the ripple effect is by starting, growing and scaling more women-owned businesses in the industry. Research has shown that fewer women in the UK choose to become entrepreneurs and women are less likely to scale to £1 million. Therefore as women founders in construction, you need to prioritise your business, earning more money, building your own tables and creating a space that challenges the status quo.
As women founders in the industry concentrate on growing a businesses, there are 5 things to consider that Patricia Haywood.
In the entrepreneurial world, they say the “riches are in the niches”. When you specialise or go niche, you quickly become an expert in the area. With expertise comes power. Power comes from having influence. And the best way to exert influence is to hone your “expert power”. Try honing your power today by becoming an expert.
Tap into your mastery
Research shows that women are more likely to believe that they lack the skills and expertise needed to run a business. This is often a perception issue. In fact, market conditions show that there is a desire for more women builders. In 2018, the Federation of Master Builders revealed that more than a third of London homeowners would rather hire a female builder. To tap into your mastery means that you understand the skills you bring to the table, own them and leverage them for your good.
Find your crew
The company you keep will determine your success. Napoleon Hill performed hundreds of interviews with successful business people. He learned that the main reason why some entrepreneurs excel and others fail is down to the people they associate with. The lesson here is that if you want to be successful, you need to find your crew of successful people to hang with. It will be impossible for you to achieve the level of success you desire at pace on your own.
You need a project portfolio strategy that will help you to determine which projects to bid and work on. Profit margins in the industry are low and the surest way to success, is to ensure that you only take on projects that fit within your portfolio, that can fund themselves and that will showcase your best work.
Increase your prices
The more money your company brings in, the better position you will be in to scale to £1 million, employ others and pay yourself a decent salary. A recent IPSE study revealed that women entrepreneurs’ average day rate is 43% less than their male counterparts. Women are leaving money on the table. It is no wonder why 49% women entrepreneurs worry over their financial situation and 65% of women entrepreneurs believe that due to their money situation, they will never have the things they want in life.
This is the decade for women. There has never been a better time to be female. Now is the time to position yourself as the leader you are and dominate your industry. Only then will women see the changes they so desperately want to see in the industry.