Ginige, K. N., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2007) Gender stereotypes: A barrier for career development of women in construction. In: 3rd Annual Built Environment Education Conference of the Centre for Education in the Built Environment, 12-13th September 2007, University of Westminster, Central London. (Unpublished)

Although women representation in managerial positions is gradually increasing, the
phenomenon of women being restricted to lower levels, under the glass ceiling effect is still
valid in many countries. Different studies in several countries show that the increase of
women in managerial positions is unbalanced compared to the total number of the workforce.
According to the recent statistics, women managerial representation is less than 1% of the
total construction work force in the UK.
Several barriers for women’s career advancement have been identified, most notably gender
stereotypes. The stereotypical belief is that if women in managerial positions possess
traditional male characteristic it is a better predictor for success, which reinforces the belief of
“think manager-think male” and this discriminates women from reaching the higher positions
with characteristics commonly associated with females. Since construction is one of the
highest male dominated industries, the effect of stereotypes as a barrier for women’s career
progression in construction is salient.
This paper reviews academic literature on gender stereotypes and its consequent effects on
women managers. It attempts to discover the pertinent issues for women in the construction
industry in order to reduce the stereotypical image.

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