On-Site Magazine

Breaking gender barriers in construction

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November 26, 2014 by STAFF REPORT

The construction industry continues to be one of the most male-dominated industries, but woman have gained some ground in recent years.

The percentage of women in “trades, transport and construction” tripled from 1987 to 2009, an increase from two to six per cent, according to a Statistics Canada report.

With Baby Boomers retiring and a sudden shortage of labourers and professionals in construction, female construction workers may be one of the key resources going forward, says the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS).

The CIQS, which oversees the designation of professional quantity surveyors and construction estimator certified professionals, is currently is about 90 per cent male, but that number is expected to change as more women seek opportunities in the construction industry.

According to the CIQS, becoming a quantity surveyor is the epitome of breaking the gender barrier in the male-dominated construction industry. A quantity surveyor measures the economics and feasibility of a construction project from concept to completion, and must be part architect, engineer, general contractor, lawyer and accountant.

With knowledge and some training in all those trades, a quantity surveyor counsels building owners, developers, designers and contractors at every stage of the design, procurement and construction process to help ensure a return on investment is delivered.

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