Organizational cultures: Obstacles to women in the UK construction industry

Authors

  • Lisa Worrall BA, MSc, PhD, PGCert HEPR

    1. University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, United Kingdom
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    • Lisa Worrall is a project manager at the University of Salford, School of the Built Environment, United Kingdom. Her interests include equality and diversity, training and support for minority groups, and e-learning. Her e-mail address is l.j.worrall@salford.ac.uk.


Abstract

The global economic downturn coupled with recent changes in UK law have led to a sizable reduction in public sector funding. As a result, both public and private sector organizations are under greater pressure to provide evidence of their activities in promoting equality and diversity in their use of public sector funds. This requirement poses a particular challenge for the UK construction industry, which remains largely White male dominated. Empirical data gathered from a series of semistructured questionnaires and focus groups that have received managerial and soft skills training are analyzed and discussed in this article in an effort to establish the organizational cultural obstacles that women face in working in the UK construction industry. The findings outline that White male-dominated organizational cultures, inflexible work practices, and a lack of supportive networks serve as obstacles to women in the UK construction industry. This study concludes with recommendations for the expansion of training opportunities for women to encourage workforce diversity within the UK construction industry.

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