Strategies for retaining women in non-traditional roles

The construction industry faces challenges in attracting women and retaining them once recruited. Retention is vital to organisational sustainability, especially in filling key positions and maintaining a motivated workforce.

Inclusive workplace culture

Inclusive workplace culture

These companies prioritise diverse and trained recruitment teams with representation from both genders at every stage of the hiring process. This approach mitigates the risk of biased evaluation methods favouring men and ensures a fair assessment of candidates’ abilities to transfer diverse experiences into roles within a male-dominated industry.

Creating a positive work environment and strengthening employee commitment is crucial for retention. Leading organisations in male-dominated sectors focus on strategies that foster inclusivity and diversity:

  • Leadership, especially CEOs and senior leaders, model inclusive behaviour.
  • Acknowledgement and reward for leaders who actively promote diversity and retention.
  • Mandatory training for leaders to address stereotypes and unconscious biases.

Beyond bricks and mortar

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Business case for gender diversity

Organisations emphasise the benefits of gender diversity in business performance, generating buy-in from employees at all levels.

Training and awareness

Mandatory training for leaders addresses biases, fostering a change in mindset and behaviour.

Role modeling and recognition

Highlighting successful senior women and leaders who prioritise work-life balance serves as inspiration. Internal recognition programs elevate champions of diversity and flexibility.

Industry participation and awards

Promoting gender diversity in project teams during client bids and sponsorship of gender equality awards enhances organisational profiles.

Inclusive working environment

An inclusive, safe workplace benefits all employees, especially in male-dominated industries. Strategies include:

  • Seeking employee feedback to enhance engagement and retention.
  • Providing gender-inclusive facilities and safety measures.
  • Implementing flexible work policies and ensuring equal access for both genders.
  • Regular surveys and feedback mechanisms to assess engagement and performance
Equal pay and inclusive policies

Equal pay and inclusive policies

Focus on achieving pay equity and audits at all organisational levels. Implementation of inclusive policies like parental leave for both genders. Review and revise workplace policies to ensure they are inclusive and accommodating.

Flexible work practices and culture

Flexible work practices and culture

Embedding flexibility across roles, encouraging work-life balance, and promoting outcomes over hours worked. Encouraging flexibility for men to remove stigmas around working mothers.

Establish employee resource groups

Establish employee resource groups

Create employee resource groups or networks that focus on diversity and inclusion. These groups provide a platform for employees to share experiences, offer support, and contribute ideas for making the workplace more inclusive.

Celebrate diversity and inclusion

Celebrate diversity and inclusion

Regularly celebrate diversity and inclusion milestones within the organisation. Recognise and reward individuals and teams that contribute to creating an inclusive workplace, fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere.

Anti-discrimination policies

Anti-discrimination policies

Zero-tolerance policies for discrimination, harassment, and bullying. Ongoing education on behavioural expectations and safe reporting mechanisms.

Job advertisements that attract women to apply

Supporting employees and their families is critical, especially in remote work scenarios. Strategies include:

  • Emotional, structural, and social support for employees.
  • Assistance programs for partners and children settling in new locations.
  • Integrated carer strategies and support for return-to-work arrangements.

On-site and off-site support

Providing access to representatives and counselling services on-site and off-site.

Family support programs

Offering various support measures for families, including visits, social clubs, and newsletters.

Technology and connectivity

Enhanced communication technology for remote workers to stay connected with their families.
By integrating these strategies, organisations aim to maintain a supportive, inclusive culture that fosters employee retention, regardless of gender or role.

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