The gender pay gap is closing in the construction industry, says new report.
The gender pay gap has been closing in the construction sector over the past year as more women are attracted to the industry, according to a new report.
The construction industry was one of the industries with the highest overall gender pay gaps last year. The 20th Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors [RIC and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey shows the overall gender pay gap between median salaries across property and the built environment is now 18.6%, according to the 3,461 UK respondents – down from 23.6% last year.
However, it says this figure hides very marked contrasts and in many areas the gender pay gap is below the national average. In construction, it says the gender pay gap has narrowed to 20.43% (from 36% last year) – a significant reduction.
RICS says pay gaps are reversing among certain age groups. For example, in London, female respondents to the survey working in construction in London are paid an average base salary of £43,000, whereas their male counterparts are paid less at £37,500. As the age of respondents increases, the disparity reverses in favour of men, says the report. However, men still gain more in bonus payments across the board and most younger women still face a gender pay gap.
RICS says the survey also shows that the industry is becoming more accommodating to work/life balance needs. Forty six per cent can work from home and 35% can work flexi hours. Moreover, 46% believe that their employer is dedicated to diversity, while only 21% feel that their employer is not.
Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity and Inclusion Director, says: “The latest Rewards and Attitudes Survey certainly demonstrates that progress is being made, but there is still a long way to go, and we’re disappointed in the difference between male and female bonus figures across the board. RICS has promoted and pursued over the last five years, continued, consistent action from industry to engage and attract a wider more diverse pool of talent.
“We have been working to ensure that there is greater awareness of surveying as an aspirational career path, and that there is an improvement in the number of women coming into surveying. Already this year we are seeing 25% of all newly qualified professionals and almost a third of new enrolments are women.
“Whilst this is positive, there is still a need to reflect on the departure of women mid-career, the encouraging signs would seem to be that workplace culture is changing to meet the needs of a modern workforce, requiring greater flexibility. This should be further supported by firms of all sizes to ensure that women are retained and are able to progress, only by more women accessing senior leadership roles will the gender pay gap be reduced even further.”