Retention over attraction: A review of women's experiences in the Australian construction industry; challenges and solutions

Ghanbaripour, Amir Naser and Tumpa, Roksana Jahan and Sunindijo, Riza Yosia and Zhang, Weiwei and Yousefian, Parinaz and Camozzi, Ranka Novak and Hon, Carol and Talebian, Nima and Liu, Tingting and Hemmati, Mina (2023) Retention over attraction: A review of women's experiences in the Australian construction industry; challenges and solutions. Buildings, 13 (2). ISSN 2075-5309, DOI

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Despite substantial investments and efforts by governments, construction organisations, and researchers, the construction industry remains one of the most male-dominated industries in Australia, with women being underrepresented numerically and hierarchically. Efforts to attract and retain women in construction have been implemented inconsistently on an ad hoc basis. As part of a larger research project that focuses on retaining women in the Australian construction industry, this research conducts a systematic literature review (SLR) in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The objective is to explore the factors that influence women's careers and their experiences in the Australian construction industry that have been identified in the literature over the past three decades. Additionally, the findings are anticipated to inform future efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of current initiatives to retain women and develop a framework for enhancing women's experiences and retaining them in this profession. This SLR revealed that excessive and rigid work hours, gendered culture and informal rules, limited career development opportunities, and negative perceptions of women's abilities are the main factors and issues that cause women to leave the industry. Among these, rigid and long work hours seem to be the foremost factor to be prioritised. Understanding the roles of key variables in driving this cultural change is important to ensure that concrete progress is made. The paper draws three major aspects from the literature in which solutions and policies can be researched, designed and implemented.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University (Grant No: RR-BD12), 45th Australasian Universities Building Education Association (AUBEA) conference
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retention; Women; Career progression; Construction; Australia
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Accountancy
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 04:22
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2023 04:22

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