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Look across any site, and you’ll see male workers making up most of the workforce. Skills such as bricklaying and other trades do consist mostly of men so you would think its a high percentage of male bricklayers in the industry.
This is partially due to this type of work not appealing to as many women, and in the past, it has been a traditionally male dominated industry. Women have generally chosen other career paths and men would be more likely to take on this type of manual labour.
But are things changing in recent years? And are women becoming more likely to enter the construction industry?
In the UK, around 87.5% of construction workers are male, this includes roles such as bricklaying. It is a male-dominated industry, so this figure should come as no surprise. Look back ten years ago and this figure would have been even higher.
As a result, you’ll see a high percentage of male bricklayers and it is quite rare to see women in this role. However, it does seems that this figure could be changing, as more women move into the industry.
Can Women Be Bricklayers?
Because most bricklayers are male, some people may even wonder if women can be bricklayers? The obvious answer to this is yes, of course they can. The real question is whether they want too.
So why have women been more interested in other industries, rather than working on building sites in trades, such as bricklaying?
Women have probably been turned off bricklaying and other trades due to several reasons:
- The number of men in the industry. They might think that they are not welcome, plus they may not want to work in such a male dominated space.
- In some cases, they may feel they can’t handle the manual work.
- Many women may be put off by working outside in all weather (this puts most men off too).
- It may just not appeal to women as much on average.
However, more opportunities are arising for women in the construction industry.
There have been campaigns to get more women into trades like bricklaying, as well as other roles in the wider construction industry. The Pathways into Construction initiative, involves hundreds of businesses, colleges, and organisations. The aim is to encourage more women into construction.
From apprenticeships and courses, to work experience opportunities. Women are being encouraged to enter the industry. The goal is to inform women, how good a career working in construction can be.
How Many Female Bricklayers Are There In The UK?
There are far more male bricklayers than females, but there are definitely some women in the industry.
As it currently stands, around 12.5% of all construction workers are female. However, certain trades are more popular than others. Bricklaying is almost certainly below the average of 12.5%. With that said, over the last ten years, the number of female bricklayers is estimated to have doubled.
The number is still obviously very low when compared with the number of male bricklayers. Many women still feel as though the industry is more suited to men. This is turning women away, despite initiatives from the government and construction companies.
Companies recognise the importance of making it easier for women to find careers in construction. Hopefully, if women can see that there is a career waiting for them, then they more are likely to take up the opportunity to work in the industry.
Are More Women Getting into Construction in general?
Following university, around 37% of new employees in construction are women. When someone enters the industry with a degree from university, they usually end up working in more professional salaried positions (not on site). Therefore, this number doesn’t really reflect the numbers seen in trades such as bricklaying, which are much lower.
By 2029, there are likely to be an extra 221,000 women of working age in the UK. If the growth of female tradespeople continues at the same rate, then it could mean an extra 51,000 women moving into construction.
More women are realising that they can forge out a career in the industry. This means that the number is growing.
Also, currently there is a shortage of bricklayers and other skilled trades. This shortage means there’s more room and money, for men and women in these positions.
Do Male Bricklayers Earn More than Female Bricklayers?
It is not the case that bricklayers earn more if they are male. A skilled trade person on a salary, or hourly rate, will be paid the same rate regardless of gender.
Also, many self-employed bricklayers do price work and earn per brick. This means that for a certain number of bricks they lay, they will get paid a fixed amount. As a result, it’s a numbers game. The more bricks you lay, the more money you earn.
If a woman lays more bricks in a day than her male counterpart, then she will earn more than him, and vice versa.
There are male bricklayers who will earn far more than other male bricklayers. This is down to ability, skill, experience, and technique. For women bricklayers, it is no different. It is a completely level playing field, and each individual is paid based on the work they do.
There are still much more male bricklayers than female bricklayers. But the number of women is growing and looks to continue this way.
It has always been an industry dominated by men, but women are being encouraged to consider careers in construction.
This means that we are likely to see many more women on construction sites in the coming years.