Building gender diversity in the Australian construction industry

This research aims to investigate the effectiveness of policy solutions to support the attraction, retention and progression of women professionals throughout their careers in the engineering and construction industry. To achieve this, the research will: 1) compare the experiences of male and female professionals; when and why they were attracted to the industry, whether there are any differences and how their relative expectations are being met; 2) investigate how women and men's career experiences are affected by workplace cultures, structures, policies and programs; 3) explore the importance of industry regulation to support cultural and structural change, drawing lessons form the success of the construction industry in changing its safety culture; 4) identify and evaluate the effectiveness of management and policy solutions, or combination of solutions, in supporting women's attraction, retention and progression, and whether solutions affect women and men differently; 5) identify key leverage points along the career pipeline and life-course where these solutons are most effective at preventing the 'leak' of women from industry; and 6) identify how different combinations of solutions might be adapted and used in organisations at different levels of 'gendered' maturity.

Funding Agency

Australian Research Council - Linkage Program

Non-Staff Involved

Professor Martin Loosemore, UNSW Built Environment

Professor Andrew Dainty, Loughborough University, UK

Partners / Collaborators

Loughborough University, UK

UNSW School of Construction Management and Property

UNSW School of Social Sciences


Galea, N., Loosemore, M., Powell, A., & Chappell, L. (2014). Gender equity in construction professions: a New Institutionalist perspective. In A. Raiden, & E. Aboagye (Eds.), Proceedings of the ARCOM 30th Annual Conference (pp. 1111-1119). (PDF) Portsmouth, UK.

Organisational units