Women are not using their skills to the full

Wales’ economy is losing out because women are being undervalued and their skills underused due to gender stereotyping, according to recent research from Chwarae Teg.

Here Donna Griffiths, skills strategy manager at CITB Wales, discusses the importance of creating a more diverse workforce.vinci pic 1

There has been some welcome progress in terms of women’s roles with the Welsh workforce according Chwarae Teg’s A Woman’s Place research. More women are working than ever before, some in Wales’ top jobs and the earnings gap with men is decreasing.

However, despite this progress, the research highlights some worrying trends for the women in Wales, and indeed the Welsh economy as a whole.

Women’s skills and experience are not being used to their full potential, with many women continuing to work in lower skilled and lower paid jobs despite being more highly qualified and more likely to receive in-work training than men.

Women also continue to be concentrated in a small number of occupations and industries due to power stereotypes about what jobs are suitable for women and men, resulting in women being vastly underrepresented in non-traditional sectors like construction.

According to the report, 80% of women surveyed said being a builder was more suitable for men, while a quarter felt administration work was more suitable for women. This view goes some way to explaining why women only account for 9% of today’s construction industry in Wales, many of whom work in administrative roles.

The construction industry has the potential to drive the Welsh economy back into growth, but to do this the industry needs a fully skilled and diverse workforce, which includes more talented and skilled women. As the sector skills council and industry training board for construction, CITB are responsible for attracting new talent to the industry, so they work closely with Welsh Government, industry and education and training providers to attract the very best talent from a diverse pool.

As an organisation CITB Wales are firmly committed Wales’ diversity strategy and an avid supporter of the excellent work that Chwarae Teg carries out, with CITB’s own director, Wyn Prichard, sitting on its board.

CITB are also a key sponsor of A Woman’s Place, so they can monitor and respond to what is happening in the Welsh workforce. They have also developed, in partnership with Constructing Equality Ltd, the Built Environment Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (BE FaIR) Framework.

But, if CITB are to encourage more women into non-traditional roles like construction, they must start educating them at an early age. There is a wide variety of interesting and rewarding careers available for women within this exciting industry, ranging from professional roles in civil engineering and quantity surveying to trade apprenticeships in carpentry and building.

CITB delivers gold standard apprenticeships for women, which meet the needs of a hi-tech, world-class industry with outstanding career prospects.

Wales’ economy is losing out because women are being undervalued and their skills underused due to gender stereotyping, according to recent research from Chwarae Teg.

Here Donna Griffiths, skills strategy manager at CITB Wales, discusses the importance of creating a more diverse workforce.

There has been some welcome progress in terms of women’s roles with the Welsh workforce according Chwarae Teg’s A Woman’s Place research. More women are working than ever before, some in Wales’ top jobs and the earnings gap with men is decreasing.

However, despite this progress, the research highlights some worrying trends for the women in Wales, and indeed the Welsh economy as a whole.

Women’s skills and experience are not being used to their full potential, with many women continuing to work in lower skilled and lower paid jobs despite being more highly qualified and more likely to receive in-work training than men.

Women also continue to be concentrated in a small number of occupations and industries due to power stereotypes about what jobs are suitable for women and men, resulting in women being vastly underrepresented in non-traditional sectors like construction.

According to the report, 80% of women surveyed said being a builder was more suitable for men, while a quarter felt administration work was more suitable for women. This view goes some way to explaining why women only account for 9% of today’s construction industry in Wales, many of whom work in administrative roles.