Women's Career Paths in the Construction Industry in New Zealand
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This qualitative study explores women and their career paths to senior management within the construction industry in New Zealand. Construction is a male dominated industry, and currently, women are underrepresented in it. New Zealand is suffering a skill shortage in construction due to environmental, demographic and labour market implications which indicate that there is a need to access a new talent pool. Using a feminist methodology through the perspective of an ‘ally' researcher interviews with 11 women in senior management were conducted. This research aims to determine the challenges to women's careers in construction as well as the factors which encourage and enable women to remain in and succeed in the industry. Significant findings of this research relate to challenges such as prejudice, language, work/life balance and the old boy's network that women encounter. These challenges occur across micro, meso and macro levels and hinder women's career progression to senior management in the industry. The feminist methodology in this research focused on the women’s experiences. This enabled them to highlight the actions they have taken and make recommendations to further women’s success in construction, including: overcoming the barriers through personal approaches, networking and mentoring opportunities for women and changing the industry for other women. This thesis presents practical recommendations, suggested by the women in this study, which can be implemented in the construction industry. This thesis adds depth to the theoretical understanding of the current construction industry in New Zealand and how contributions by women can benefit the construction industry.