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Level Best Project highlights challenges faced by women in construction industry

December 17, 2015  By CAWIC

Dec. 17, 2015 – The Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC) has announced that Phase 1 of the Level Best Women’s Advancement Project has concluded. While women in the industry are optimistic, gender inclusivity continues to be a work in progress.  Phase 2 of the Level Best Project – developing the industry Action Plan, is now underway. In this Phase, CAWIC’s Level Best team will focus on developing specific and targeted recommendations for industry stakeholders to increase entry, retention and promotion of women into leadership roles within the industry.

With the invaluable input from Employer Partners (who, as of November 2015 report that they employ a total workforce of approximately 10,000 workers) and Female Participants during the research phase, the Level Best team has delivered a comprehensive needs assessment of industry women targeting Ontario, Alberta, and Newfoundland/Labrador. Key challenges and obstacles have been identified, effectively highlighting the various issues faced by women in the industry.

Some of the most commonly reported challenges include lack of appropriate personal protective equipment, inadequate washroom facilities, difficulty sourcing mentors, and substantive issues sustaining a positive work environment with male colleagues. That said, an overwhelming proportion of the Female Participants (94.44%) believe they have the potential to have a successful career in construction and 85.19% of Female Participants would recommend working in construction to other women. In addition, 86.67% of Employer Partners would be prepared to pay for tools to increase hiring, retention and advancement of women at their organization, if the cost was reasonable. The results of this assessment demonstrate that, while there is still significant work to be done to improve inclusivity and promotion of women in the industry, women are optimistic about their career advancement, and their employers are looking for ways to support them accordingly.

In this next Phase, through collaboration with industry stakeholders, the Level Best team will develop specific, measurable and realistic actions. CAWIC invites further support from industry stakeholders in this critical stage. The input of industry insiders is therefore key to generating practical, tangible solutions. If you are a construction employer or a female working in construction, we encourage you to join us during this critical Phase.


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