AbstractThe management structure, culture, and environment of the construction industry present challenges to women and have resulted in their being underrepresented in a male-dominated workforce that includes only a tenth as many women as men. The purpose of this study was to identify and categorize the barriers faced by female workers in the construction field and offices and to ascertain, weight, and rank strategies for overcoming them. This was accomplished by performing a thorough review of the literature, in which 22 occupational barriers were identified. Interviews were conducted with 12 female professionals employed in the construction industry to provide more data, and the barriers were classified into five categories. The top four challenges were determined to be extended working hours, discrimination based on gender, sexual harassment, and musculoskeletal disorders. From the literature, 26 strategies were identified. Ten female subject matter experts who held construction-related positions participated in a two-round Delphi process exercise to rank and weight the strategies. The four strategies ranked highest were (1) providing adequate sanitary facilities for female employees on work sites; (2) providing women with challenging roles and responsibilities for career progression; (3) promoting flexible organizational cultures, and (4) providing role models. The findings of this study provide guidance to employers and policymakers as they implement strategies and policies to benefit women as they advance in the construction industry amid a more diverse working environment.

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