Ginige, K. N., Thurairajah, N., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2008) Role of women leaders in the UK construction industry and their career barriers. In: CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and research (BEAR), 11-15th February 2008, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

The issue regarding lack of women leaders in construction has been a prominent concern for
many years because women in mainstream management reduces potential managerial skills
shortage in the industry and increases women’s interest for construction related occupations.
This paper is based on a study, which was designed to identify the role of women in leadership
positions in the UK construction industry and the barriers confronting their careers. A literature
review has been carried out followed by four case studies that were developed around four
female leaders in the industry in order to identify the role and the barriers confronting them.
Results of this study revealed that role of women leaders in construction is yet to be improved
both in terms of number of leaders and the significance of their role. However, the findings of
the case studies show that the majority of women leaders do not find problems in their
leadership ability and the recognition which is received, however working in a site environment
brings additional inconveniences to women in performing their role as leaders. Further the study
revealed that women leaders in construction face career barriers which prevent them from
advancing towards leadership positions. The results from the case studies indicate that the task
of balancing family and work commitments, childcare problems and old boys networks are the
most common barriers encountered by women in leadership positions in construction.

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