Assessing roles and contribution of women in the construction industry in Kumasi

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The construction industry plays very significant role in the development of every country in terms of infrastructural development and promoting investment. The industry is however, seen as a preserve of men. It is against this backdrop that women’s participation in the industry was assessed. This study investigated the specific roles of women, their representation in construction industry, whether women are adequately engaged in management position and their challenges in terms of different levels of motivations in the industry. The cross sectional design was adopted to study ten (10) construction companies. As a result of the three (3) Construction Associations that were identified. Using the snowballing approach, three (3) companies were selected from the Association of Building and Civil Engineering contractors, three (3) companies from Progressive Road contractors Association and four companies from the Association of Road contractors. The ten managers of the companies were surveyed on the profile of their workers and companies in addition to thirty-two (32) women in the industry that were surveyed based on their availability. The study revealed that the educational background of workers were low as well as that of women in the industry. However, men had certificates in construction related courses than women. Women were therefore engaged in marginal roles like labourers and secretaries. It was also noted that generally women were underrepresented in the construction industry and in management positions. Motivations like promotions, increased salaries and annual leave were also denied women which could influence their exit from the industry. Based on these conditions, it was recommended that women should be enrolled on apprenticeship programmes and workshops to equip them with construction skills and engage them in construction specific roles. Women with degree and diploma certificate in construction course should be given equal opportunities in the industry and in management positions as their male counterparts. The women in the industry could also come together as a united front to address their welfare on motivations and enhance their representation as done in South Africa (SAWiC) and the United States (NAWIC).
A thesis submitted to the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi. in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN DEVELOPMENT POLICY AND PLANNING. 2012