Training and recruitment of women in construction is on the rise, but sadly, that hasn’t always been the case. Gender equality in this sector has traditionally lagged behind other industries.
Thankfully, outdated preconceptions about the types of people we expect to see working in the trades are being challenged thanks to the incredible work of companies like Suzie Construction.
We spoke to Suzie Edwards, the business’s founder and director, to find out how she’s managing to flourish in this male-dominated industry and how print has helped.
Women in construction
Currently, only 10% of workers in construction are women. However, only 2.5% are on the tools, with almost 90% of the working in construction doing office jobs.
Despite that, businesses like Suzie Construction are making a huge difference. Not only are they overturning these statistics but they’re dispelling stereotypes in the process too.
Being a female-owned company, Suzie Construction is a leading light in this fight. Suzie proudly asserted: “I gave my company this name to make it clear that it’s a female-run business, that’s a flagbearer for women in construction!”
Founded in 2020, she employs a mix of women and men in her London-based business that takes on a broad range of construction work. This multi-faceted team can complete renovations, extensions, installations, remedial work, painting, decorating, and much more.
Working on both commercial and residential sites, Suzie Construction is proving that women belong in construction.
Making an equal industry
Construction has long been an industry dominated by men. Stereotypes have often blockaded opportunities, engagement and progression. As a result, it largely remains a male-dominated space.
As Suzie told us: “There are simply not enough women working in the industry.”
Women in construction occupy just 1% of the total on-site workforce. Equally, it’s estimated that 11% of the total jobs within the industry are occupied by women, with many of those being desk or office jobs.
These statistics are diminishing, but there is a background behind these low numbers.
Suzie explained: “Historically, men used to go out and work while most women would stay at home. This meant that previously, women may not have known the avenues to discover trades, learn courses or find jobs within this industry.”
Becoming a pioneering figure in the industry, Suzie is paving the way for women in construction for easier career paths in the future. Unfortunately, stereotypes are something Suzie still has to regularly overcome:
“Sometimes it’s clear we’re labelled with a stereotype. If we produce an amazing quote that’s better than any of our competitors, sometimes we’ll lose out even if we’ve provided a cheaper offer. That’s a stereotype that we’re constantly fighting against.”
Standing out from the crowd
One innovative way Suzie is stamping her prints in the construction industry is through 24/7 grab hire. These are lorries that have a large, remote-controlled grabber to pick up the waste and drop it into its own integrated skip.
Grab hire is a relatively new innovation that has taken the construction industry by storm. Previously, companies would have to hire a skip. Whilst they’re a handy place to store waste, skips take up a large amount of room, can take time to be dropped off and taken away, and remain very costly.
To counteract this, grab hires save construction businesses time and money. They can transport larger amounts of waste than a typical skip can and they allow waste to be transported instantly, removing the waiting times typical skip hires have.
With a 24/7 grab hire service that includes special emergency coverage for groundworks, highways and construction sites, Suzie Construction is providing a versatile and cost-saving service to the industry.
Her lorries can transport an average of 18 tonnes, up to three times as much as a standard skip, and don’t require a permit from the council. They also offer the advantage of grabbing waste from over walls or fences which saves her clients time and large sums of money.
Suzie added: “We might even be the first women-run business to offer grab hires!”
Solopress swoops in
Suzie is proud to have been a customer of Solopress for over 20 years now.
Leaflets, Banners, Business Cards and Letterheads have been a constant in propelling Suzie to the top of the industry.
After two decades of support, Suzie explained: “It’s the speed at which my print arrives which keeps me coming back. The quality is phenomenal and the variation of products is fantastic!
“Solopress’ newsletter is exciting. Your recent Quality Print sweet campaign, highlighting your new Foil range, was particularly captivating.”
Empowering the future
It’s taken big ambitions and even bigger efforts for Suzie Construction to become the business it is today. . Needless to say, Suzie’s plans for the future are huge.
“In the short term, my goal is to expand the business, progress our work and continue to push the boundaries we’re breaking. I want to continue networking to build contacts and ultimately get more contracts.
“My long-term goal is to build bigger and better contracts to take this company to greater heights. Becoming big enough to develop nationally and then internationally is where I want us to be in the future!
“Being more widely recognised within the industry is one of my main targets. In doing so, we’ll create even more opportunities for women in construction.”
A feature in early December for the widely acknowledged, Construction News magazine, will be a great start in achieving wider industry recognition. Definitely, something to keep your eyes peeled for!
Print in construction
Suzie has incredible plans for the future and print is a firm fixture of them.
Working in a constantly evolving industry while simultaneously pushing the boundaries involves a lot of change. Suzie said: “Print will never go out of date. However, especially in our industry, you have to constantly update your products.”
After 20 years of amazing support, Suzie can’t wait to design more print in the future.
“Solopress have always been brilliant to me. The customer service is excellent, if one person can’t answer, there’s always someone waiting in the wing, eager to be of assistance. I’ll look forward to ordering more print in the future!”
Pioneers are people who take initiative and participate in the development of new areas that were previously uncharted. The outstanding work that Suzie Edwards is doing for women in construction is paving the way for a brighter, more equal industry in the future.