It is widely accepted that throughout the entire construction industry, with the exception of a few companies, that female workers are massively underrepresented compared to their male counterparts.
On the whole, the UK’s construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled workers, especially post-Brexit, so attracting a more diverse workforce from within the UK should be a priority.
Women represent roughly 50% of the UK workforce, and yet within the construction industry, around 13% of workers are female, with just 1% of those working on-site. But what is the cause of this gender disparity, and how can we resolve it?
There are a host of reasons why this may be the case, including a higher than average pay gap, standing at around 20%, pre-conceived notions of what job sites are, and also the occasional archaic attitude of the “old-schoolers” on-site.
We’re making conscious efforts to play our part in a gender-equal world, and these efforts have seen female representation within our workforce increase from 17.3% to over 20% in the last 12 months. Here, we’ll be looking at how having the right welfare units can help to improve gender inclusivity on-site.
Choosing the right Welfare Units
Having the correct welfare units on-site is essential when it comes to promoting gender equality, and most importantly, to make female construction workers feel more comfortable on-site.
CDM Regulations state that where applicable, separate facilities such as toilets and showers, or changing rooms must be provided if there are female staff on-site. For example, when it comes to toilets and showers, there must always be at least two cubicles with a WC present, in order to allow female staff to have their own facilities.
Additionally, changing rooms must have a lockable door if there are female staff on-site. While these things may seem like a given, it is essential that they are provided, not only to make female staff feel comfortable but also to stay within CDM Regulations.
Now, this isn’t to say that women need wholly separate facilities, you still want staff to mingle during break times and mealtimes, as this promotes a better workplace culture and better team morale.
Take our Combi Cabin Eco 2XL, with enough space to accommodate 24 workers, and with a separate WC and urinal in two cubicles, it provides a space for staff to mix, while also giving female staff separate toilet facilities. Though if you want to have fully separate toilet facilities, you could pair one of our Solar Loos with your Combi Cabin.
Choosing the right Welfare Hire Provider
By choosing the right welfare hire provider you will make it easier for yourself, and often cheaper, to provide a fully gender-inclusive workplace. By opting for a welfare hire provider such as Garic, who specialises in innovation and are one of the most trusted providers of plant and welfare hire throughout the UK, your extra facilities need not take up a large amount of space.
Take our 2 in 1 Standalone WC & Solar Dryer / Changing Room Unit for example, unique in the marketplace when we brought it to market, as a fully stand-alone unit, it provides separate male and female toilet facilities, as well as the added benefit of having a heated, and lockable drying and changing room.
It is products such as this, along with our history of innovation that makes Garic an excellent choice as your welfare hire provider.
We are also proud to be firmly on the path towards gender equality ourselves. Last year, 17.3% of our workforce were female, in contrast to the industry average of 13%. In July 2021 this had risen to 19.3%, and currently above 20% of our workforce is female. By choosing Garic you are choosing a company that are committed to reducing the disparity in our own workforce so we’re on the same drive that you are.
The Bigger Picture
We’re well aware that the provision of separate welfare units, such as toilets and showers for male and female workers is not enough alone. There is much more that needs to be addressed in order for the gender inequality we see in the construction sector to be overcome.
But at Garic, all we can do is provide the welfare hire facilities that you need in order to make your site gender inclusive.
As a growing business ourselves, operating within the construction sector, we recognise the impact a lack of women working in our sector has. Whilst we are delighted to have a number of women in a variety of roles across the business, increasing female representation across all areas of our business remains a key focus for us.
If you have any questions or to enquire about our gender-inclusive welfare hire options, please Contact Us Today for Information & Advice.
Garic. On-Demand. On-Site. On-Time.