Women in non-traditional roles

Empowering women’s growth and development in non-traditional roles

Recognising the pivotal role of women’s training and career progression in achieving gender diversity goals, organisations in the construction industry are shifting their focus. They invest in continuous career development, emphasising technical skills and fostering relationship-based growth rather than assuming women are more likely to leave.

 Leadership engagement

Leadership engagement and advocacy

Senior leaders play a proactive role in sponsoring and participating in women’s development within leading organisations, setting a tone that resonates throughout the workplace. As mentors, sponsors, and advocates, senior leaders accelerate women’s careers in non-traditional roles.

Leadership involvement and advocacy

  • Senior leaders model inclusive behaviour and advocate for women’s advancement. Women in senior roles serve as role models for younger women, showcasing opportunities available to them.

Mentoring and sponsorship programs

  • Formal mentoring programs for women and reverse mentoring for senior men promote visibility and understanding across hierarchies. Mentoring circles and structured sponsorship programs also elevate women’s recognition and visibility across the organisation.

Career-advancing development

Leading organisations challenge assumptions that women are more likely to leave, offering formal and informal networking opportunities. They recognise women’s limited access to networks and strive to address this, ensuring equal participation in career development programs.

Networking opportunities

Networking opportunities

Organisations facilitate internal and external networking opportunities for women, which is crucial in male-dominated industries where women may feel isolated. They ensure resources for participation in external networking events.

Leadership programs and exposure opportunities

Leadership programs and exposure opportunities

While some debate the need for women-only development programs, these organisations stress equal access to broader curricula. They provide on-the-job development opportunities and encourage women to explore non-traditional career paths.

Flexible training and support

Flexible training and support

Training at different times and locations accommodates diverse employee needs, such as caring responsibilities. Additional support for partners and children helps retain talented female employees who might otherwise decline development opportunities due to relocation challenges.

Merit-based talent processes

Leading organisations focus on rigorous, transparent talent processes to ensure meritocracy and minimise biases. They monitor women’s representation at each stage of the talent cycle and challenge stereotypes during talent discussions.

Diverse talent teams

Diverse talent teams

Ensuring gender diversity within talent discussion teams promotes balanced and objective assessments. Training leaders involved in these discussions to recognise stereotypes and unconscious biases helps foster fair decision-making.

Challenger process and targets

A ‘challenger process’ scrutinises talent discussions to uncover biases. Setting targets for women’s participation in development activities holds leaders accountable and ensures fair opportunities for women’s advancement.
Challenger process and targets
Monitoring women's representation

Monitoring women’s representation

Regularly monitoring women’s representation and engagement levels at all talent process stages allows organisations to take corrective action and ensure equal opportunities for women’s development.

By following these steps, employers in the construction industry can actively contribute to breaking down gender barriers and creating a workplace where women feel valued, supported, and empowered. Embracing diversity enhances the culture and fuels innovation and success in the rapidly evolving construction sector.

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