Retention over Attraction: A Review of Factors Affecting Women’s Experiences in the Australian Construction Industry

Amir Ghanbaripour, Roksana Jahan Tumpa, Riza Yosia Sunindijo, Weiwei Zhang, Parinaz Yousefian, Ranka Novak Camozzi, Carol K.H. Hon , Nima Talebian, Tingting Liu, Mina Hemmati

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Despite substantial investments and efforts by governments, construction organisations, and researchers, the construction industry remains one of the most male-dominated industries in Australia, with women being underrepresented numerically and hierarchically. Efforts to attract and retain women in construction have been implemented inconsistently on an ad hoc basis. As part of a larger research project that focuses on retaining women in the Australian construction industry, this research conducted a systematic literature review (SLR) in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines to identify the major factors that influence women’s careers and their experiences in the Australian construction industry. The SLR revealed that excessive and rigid work hours, gendered culture and informal rules, limited career development opportunities, and negative perceptions of women’s abilities are the main factors and issues that cause women to leave the industry. Among these, rigid and long work hours seem to be the foremost factor to be prioritised. Although long work hours can affect women more due to their family responsibilities, addressing this issue can lead to better work-life balance and mental well-being, which can benefit everyone. Understanding the roles of key variables in driving this cultural change is important to ensure that concrete progress is made. The findings are anticipated to inform future efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of current initiatives to retain women and develop a framework for enhancing women's experiences and retaining them in this profession.


ConferenceThe 45th Australasian Universities Building Education Association (AUBEA)
Abbreviated titleAUBEA
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