© WOMEN are still struggling to penetrate the construction industry and to stand toe-to-toe with their male counterparts due to social stereotypes, C and R Home Designs and Construction founder Shamiso Machaya has said.
According to a United Nations study, infrastructure projects are male-dominated with women being the least represented in the construction sector with only 3,5 percent.
“I established C & R Home Designs and Construction in 2018 and have done over 100 projects. I can tell you that 95 percent of my clients were female which shows that most male customers prefer male-run construction companies,” Machaya said.
She added that women-led construction companies are being discriminated against. “As it is, there are so few women-led construction businesses and even when it comes to attaining clients, our database shows that we are lagging behind.
“Although construction is still largely regarded as a male domain, change should take place in the industry to rectify this specific train of thought and culture to show that women equally deserve to participate in construction even though it may be considered as a place for men only,” said Machaya.
Research has shown that the construction industry is still largely regarded as a male domain and women are not taken seriously as professionals in the sector due to tradition, organisational culture and sexist attitudes.
According to the Zimbabwe Building Contractors’ Association, less than a third of the nation’s 300 000 construction workers are women.
In neighbouring South Africa, despite the increase in the number of women being employed in the construction industry, they still constitute a very small percentage of the industry’s workforce which is less than 10 percent.