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Construction industry becoming increasingly gender-segregated, report finds

Prof Louise Chappell was handed a hard hat when she stepped on to a building site. She was there to research why women have made so little headway in the construction industry.

The hat was pink.

“The site manager ran down to find this one pink [hat],” Chappell says. “I was on a site with over 2,000 workers and I was the only person that day in a pink hat.”

It is not as if women would not stand out on their own. The construction industry is the most male-dominated sector in Australia and it appears to be getting more gender-segregated. In 2016 women make up only 12% of the workforce, down from 17% 10 years ago.


Personal favorite comment from the article:

"The guy was no doubt just trying to be nice". Yep - that's paternalistic sexism. Assuming that women need special "girly" things might *seem* nice... but it's just another way of presenting them as different from men in ways that have nothing to do with anatomy. Same with the men apologising for swearing, as though women don't swear, or are too delicate to cope with colourful language.

"I definitely made sure my armoured jacket had a female cut and pattern". That's different. That's anatomy. Women are on average smaller and differently shaped, so it makes sense to get things that fit properly.

To summarise: supplying PPE of a different shape, to conform to female anatomy: good. Supplying PPE of the same shape but in pink, to conform to stereotypes of "femininity": sexism.

Surely not too hard to understand.

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