Women at work! evaluating equal employment policies and outcomes in construction

French, Erica L. & Strachan, Glenda (2015) Women at work! evaluating equal employment policies and outcomes in construction. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 34(3), pp. 227-243.

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine equal employment policies in Australia’s male-dominated construction industry and categorise the types of activities undertaken against an equal employment typology to identify links to outcomes for women in the form of increased participation and management.

Design/methodology/approach To explore the issue of low representation of women in construction through the content analysis of 83 construction organisations’ equal employment opportunity (EEO) reports.

Findings This industry is not engaging with equal employment issues and the numbers of women working in the industry and/or management are based on individual decision rather than an institutional commitment to equality in diversity.

Research limitations/implications Australian legislation mandates organisational reporting of relevant data and offers public access to this information offering a unique data set.

Practical implications An ageing population means that the predominately older male workforce is leaving construction in greater numbers with fewer potential replacements making new labour markets a vital consideration.

Social implications Legislation and organisational policies designed to promote EEO for women have existed in numerous countries for decades. One objective of this legislation was to reduce male domination in senior positions and industries/occupations where women were under-represented. Despite this, few women are employed in construction in operational or management roles worldwide.

Originality/value This study offers a comprehensive analysis of a male-dominated industry in one jurisdiction rather than a few selected cases and uses a broader rigorous typology for analysis that acknowledges both equal and different treatment options.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 82357
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Equal Opportunities, Construction, Australia, Women Workers, Diversity Typologies, Low Representation
DOI: 10.1108/EDI-11-2013-0098
ISSN: 2040-7149
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Industrial Relations (150306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (http://eprints.qut.edu.au/82357/). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited." - See more at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/writing/author_rights.htm#sthash.6Wu2Qf8d.dpuf
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2015 23:48
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 22:49

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