Women in the construction and property industry have been the minority for such a long time and often have to face obstacles that occur from working in a male-dominated industry. In fact as of 2023, only 13% of the construction industry are women and only 36% of the property sector are women.
Two of the most important obstacles are the very limited number of women in leadership roles and the jaw-dropping gender pay gap of 18.8%.
But it IS changing. I’ve seen it myself over the last two decades how women are coming together to support each other, find pathways and create space for incredible careers.
But what happens when this doesn’t happen and women don’t support each other? Quite often I’ve heard from women who don’t feel their female managers or peers are actually backing them and they’re full of disappointment and disbelief. Because it can feel so much more discouraging when a female colleague doesn’t advocate and support us in the industry, right?
But why is that? Because we often set a higher standard for our female peers and managers than we do for our male counterparts and this way of thinking is hugely problematic.
In the industry, you’ll have good managers and lousy ones. You’ll experience a whole range of people with different skills, aptitudes, interests and knowledge and you’ll have to learn how to connect with them differently every time. Because if we go into every working relationship with our women colleagues with the notion that they’ll go out of their way to support and advocate for our careers, we’re setting them up to fail.
Let’s take gender out of the problem. An unsupportive female leader is just an unsupportive leader.
And remember that women who have been in the industry for up to 40 years have been leading the charge and while they may not be advocating for your career progression on a day to day basis, they were at the forefront of fighting for gender equality 20 years ago. We’re standing on the shoulders of giants and can learn so much from focusing on what they’re doing right and not what they’re doing wrong.
In this conversation, I’ll take you through what you can do to find your people, relationships and mentorships that you can rely on to fuel your motivation and inspiration because we work in an incredible industry where we contribute to the environments that people live in every day and everybody needs support.
We can all make a difference by celebrating the women who are doing remarkable things and showing up for someone the way you wished someone showed up for you.
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