Barriers to career advancement for female engineers in Australia’s civil construction industry and recommended solutions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Civil Engineering, 2019, 17 (1), pp. 1 - 10
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 Engineers Australia. This study explores the challenges that have emerged from the outdated and inflexible workplace culture of the civil construction industry, and how it is affecting female engineers and women in other functional site roles. The study primarily explores issues such as the strong culture of long work hours, the perception of staff who pursue work-life balance, and the perception of part time and flexible working options within the industry. The study was conducted over three phases where members of the industry answered questionnaires on the workplace issues listed above. The first phase aimed to document a female perspective on the construction workplace culture while the second phase focused on the perceptions of the same respondents regarding the industry’s attitude to work-life balance and whether any of the aspects of workplace culture has discouraged them from staying in the industry. The final phase included men and women in management and employer roles to determine their views on part time and flexible working options within the industry. The results of the study are presented and discussed before recommendations are offered for contractor organisations, their employers and staff. The recommendations have been addressed in a way that a gradual culture change can be accepted and acted on throughout the entire workplace.
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