Thayaparan, M, Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2010) Contribution of women managers towards the construction industry: Preliminary findings. In: CIB 2010, 10-13th May 2010, University of Salford.. (Unpublished)

UK construction industry faces many challenges such as low performance, high dissatisfaction among clients, low productivity, poor image, high fragmentation etc. Recruiting employees, particularly for senior/ middle level management, to fulfil the skills and labour shortages has also been a challenge faced by the industry for many years. The gender segregation pattern of the construction industry seems to be highly according to the societal expectations of the traditional gender roles. In evident to that, more than 85\% of the women who are attached to the UK construction industry hold administrative or secretarial positions which are not construction specific occupations. This typical gender segregation has led the industry being unable to benefit from the diverse skills that women could offer. In this context, increasing the number of women managers may have an impact on the typical gender segregation pattern of the industry and in turn may help the industry fulfilling their skills needs. However, it needs to be assured whether the increment in the number of women managers will make the industry better. This research, therefore, explores and investigates the contribution of women managers towards the construction industry. The contribution of the women managers are analysed based on the leadership styles that woman managers typically exhibit in the construction industry. This research adopted case study as the research strategy and used questionnaires and semi-structured interviews as the research techniques. Based on the preliminary analyses of the case studies, all the women managers have demonstrated certain level of leading roles such as commanding, motivating and coaching while maintaining a balance between work and personal life. In terms of gender qualities, all women managers were found to be strong in both their masculinity and femininity adjectives. Further, the women managers perceive themselves as using transformational leadership styles more often than the transactional styles. The above mentioned preliminary findings of the case studies are presented in this paper.

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