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Women in construction up 14 per cent

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The numbers of women working in the construction industry has increased during the past year

The number of female construction workers rose by almost 14 per cent to 263,000 in the final three months of 2013, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

The proportion of self-employed women in the construction industry was also up by 22 per cent, rising to 32,000.

Despite these optimistic figures for the construction sector, the ratio of female architects has remained largely static for the past four years.

According to the RIBA, just 16 per cent of chartered members are women.

While two thirds of respondents to the AJ’s annual Women in Architecture survey felt that the building industry hadn’t fully accepted the authority of the female architect.

Commenting on the results of the AJ survey, Mary Duggan, director at Duggan Morris, said: ‘When we talk about the industry in relation to women’s roles we need to consider the designers and builders as separate forces as there is a greater weight of men in the contracting and project management roles. Contracting organisations are way behind architects in terms of equality and unfortunately have edged greater power.’

Angela Dapper, shortlisted Emerging Woman Architect of the Year, added: ‘I find that building sites are very male orientated, there is very rarely a female on site, except maybe in the office. There are still occasional degrading attitudes towards women on site, mainly prevalent in sexually biased language.  On one of my sites I was just referred to as ‘she’.’ 

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