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Constructing Women Leaders

Construction in the UK is expanding and it is one of the region's largest industries and fundamental to all other economic activity. However, a scarcity of women in leadership positions in construction has persisted despite their increasing numbers in contraction training.

The issue regarding the lack of women leaders in construction has been a concern for many years, attracting government and industry wide attention. This has been made more prominent recently due to the potential managerial skills shortage facing the industry.

Accordingly, the Constructing Women Leaders project, led by Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Dr Richard Haigh from the Centre for Disaster Resilience aimed to research the underlying reasons for the scarcity of women in leadership positions in the region's construction industry, and to find out the ways to improve the current position of women leaders in construction.

This research attempted to:

  • Understand the role of women as leaders in construction in terms of : Their duties and their job satisfaction; Their leadership styles and their personal attributes; Acceptance of their leadership by others and their ability; Significance of their role (Number of women leaders, Extent of their contribution, and Positions or levels in the organisational hierarchy )
  • Understand the barriers confronting women in leadership positions in the construction Industry in terms of their personal and organisational dimensions
  • Identify potential remedies for overcoming these barriers
  • Examine the experiences of women leaders from other sectors and the initiatives undertake to overcome these challenges
  • Provide recommendations and good practice guidelines to addressing the barriers (including the identification of strategic leadership skills)

For further information about the project, please contact and Dr Menaha Thayaparan and Dr Udayangani Kulatunga. Email: or