An Investigation of Women Engineers in Non-Traditional Occupations in the Thai Construction Industry
For over a decade, the public and the private sectors have carried out research aimed at attracting women engineers to the construction industry and retaining them. However, studies on women engineers working in other types of construction-related businesses apart from contractor companies such as consultancies, developers, etc., have not been many. This paper aims to examine the experiences of women engineers in non-traditional careers and the implications for their turnover. A literature search on women’s careers in construction was performed in conjunction with semi-structured interviews with a sampling of 141 individuals. Results from three viewpoints, viz those of professional men and women engineers in contractor companies, and women engineers in non-contractor companies, were found to differ in many respects, including their opinions about career advancement, career path and the difficulties involved. It was also found that women engineers in contractor companies were much more affected by problems such as sexual harassment, work-life conflicts and equal opportunity than women engineers in non-contractor companies. Turnover rates of women engineers and their reasons for leaving were examined. Women engineers, particularly those in contractor companies, had to confront more barriers in non-traditional careers than their male counterparts. Nonetheless, working in non-contractor companies provides a viable alternative for women engineers who want to have successful careers in the Thai construction industry.
Agapiou, A. (2002) Perceptions of Gender Roles and Attitudes toward Work among Male and Female Operatives in the Scottish Construction Industry, Construction Management and Economics, 20 (8), 697-05"
Amaratunga, D.R., Haigh, A.L., Shanmugam, M. and Elvitigala, G. (2005) Construction Industry and Women: A Review of the Barriers", Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, Review paper, University of Salford , 559-7, 20 Sep 2008"
Angus, R.B. Gundersen, N.A. and Cullinane, T.P. (2000) Planning, Performing, and Controlling Projects: Principles and Applications, Prentice Hall, New Jersey
Arslan, G. and Kivrak, S. (2004) The Lower Employment of Women in Turkish Construction Sector", Building and Environment, 39, 1379-87, " http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2004.03.005
Bagilhole, B.M., Dainty, A.R.J. and Neale, R.H. (2002) A Woman Engineers Experiences of Working on British Construction Sites", International Journal of Engineering Education, 18 (4), 422-29"
Bennett, J.F., Davidson, M.J. and Gale, A.W. (1999) Women in Construction: A Comparative Investigation into the Expectations and Experiences of Female and Male Construction Undergraduates and Employees, Women in Management Review, 14 (7), 273-91"
Byrne, J., Clarke, L. and Meer, M.V.D. (2005) Gender and Ethnic Minority Exclusion from Skilled Occupations in Construction: A Western European Comparison, Construction Management and Economics, 23 (10), 1025-34"
Clarke, L. and Gribling, M. (2008) Obstacles to Diversity in Construction: The Example of Heathrow Terminal5, Construction Management and Economics, 26 (10), 1055-65"
Dainty, A.R.J., Neale, R.H. and Bagilhole, B.M. (1999) Women Careers in Large Construction Companies: Expectations Unfulfilled?, Construction Management and Economics, 4 (7), 353-57"
Dainty, A.R.J., Neale, R.H. and Bagilhole, B.M. (2000) Comparison of Mens and Women"s Careers in the U.K. Construction Industry", Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice (ASCE), 126 (3), 110-15"
Dainty, A.R.J., Bagilhole, B.M. and Neale, R.H. (2000) A Grounded Theory of Womens Career Under-Achievement in Large UK Construction Companies", Construction Management and Economics, 18 (2), 239-50"
Dainty, A.R.J., Bagilhole, B.M. and Neale, R.H. (2001) Male and Female Perspectives on Equality Measures for the UK Construction Sector, Women in Management Review, 16 (6), 297-04"
Dainty, A.R.J., Bagilhole, B.M., Ansari, K.H. and Jackson, J. (2004) Creating Equality in the Construction Industry: An Agenda for Change for Women and Ethnic Minorities, Journal of Construction Research, 5 (1), 75-86"
Dainty, A.R.J. and Edwards, D.J. (2003) The UK Building Education Recruitment Crisis: A Call for Action, Construction Management and Economics, 21 (11), 767-75"
Dainty, A.R.J. and Lingard, H. (2006) Indirect Discrimination in Construction Organizations and the Impact on Womens Career", Journal of Management in Engineering, 22 (3), 108-18"
Elvitigala, G., Amaratunga, D. and Haigh, R. (2006) The Impact of Culture on Career Development of Women in Construction", Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, Review paper, The University of Salford, 162-69 11 Jan 2009"
English, J., Haupt, T.C. and Smallwood, J.J. (2006) Women, Construction and Health and Safety (H & S): South African and Tanzanian Perspectives, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 4 (1), 18-28"
Fielden, S.L, Davison, M.J, Gale, A.W. and Davey, C.L. (2000) Women in Construction: the untapped resource, Construction Management and Economics, 18 (1), 113-21"
Fielden, S.L., Davison, M.J., Gale, A.W. and Davey, C.L. (2001) Women, Equality and Construction, Journal of Management Development, 20 (4), 293-04"
French, E. and Strachan, G. (2009) Evaluating Equal Employment Opportunity and Its Impact on the Increased Participation of Men and Women in the Transport Industry, Transportation Research Part A, 43 (1), 78-89"
Gale, A.W. (1994) Women in Non-traditional Occupations: The construction Industry, Women in Management Review, 9 (2), 3-14"
Greed, C. and Reeves, D. (2005) Mainstreaming equality into strategic spatial policy making: are town planners losing sight of gender?, Construction Management and Economics, 23 (10), 1059-70"
Hossain, J.B. and Kusakabe, K. (2005) Sex Segregation in Construction Organization in Bangladesh and Thailand, Construction Management and Economics, 23 (6), 609-19"
Hossain, J.B. (2007) Women Engineers in Construction Industry: A Comparative Study in Bangladesh and Thailand, Unpublished Dissertation, AIT, Thailand
Khazanet, V.L. (1996) Women in Civil Engineering and Science: Its Time for Recognition and Promotion", Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 122 (2), 65-68"
Ling, F.Y.Y. and Poh, Y.P. (2004) Encouraging more female quantity surveying graduates to enter the construction industry in Singapore, Women in Management Review, 18 (8), 431-36"
Lingard, H. and Lin, F. (2004) Career, family and work environment determinants of organizational commitment among women in the Australian construction industry, Construction Management and Economics, 22 (4), 409-20"
Lingard, H. and Francis, V. (2005) The Decline of the Traditional Family: Work-Life Benefits as a Means of Promoting a Diverse Workforce in the Construction Industry of Australia, Construction Management and Economics, 23 (12), 1045-57"
Madikizela, K. and Haupt, T. (2010) Influences on Womens Choices of Careers in Construction: A South Africa Study", Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, 10 (1-2), 1-15"
Menches, C.L. and Abraham, D.M. (2007) Women in ConstructionâTapping the Untapping Resource to Meet Future Demands, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 133 (9), 701-07"
Neuman, W.L. (1994) Social Research Method: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, University of Wisconsin, USA
Ogunlana, S., Rost, U., Robles-Austriaco, L., Kusakabe, K. and Kelkar, G. (1993) Thai Women Construction Workers. Interdisciplinary Studies in Gender and Development in Conjunction with the Structural Engineering and Construction Program, Research report, AIT. Thailand
Parmley, R. O. (2003) Civil Engineer's Illustrated Sourcebook, McGraw-Hill Publishing, Available Online: http:// www.books.google.co.th/ books, Retrieved 25 Jan 2008
Schneider, B. (1976) Staffing Organization, Goodyear Publishing Company, Inc. Santa Monica, California
The Thailand Research Fund, Available Online: http:// www.mua.go.th, Retrieved 26 Feb 2009
Whittock, M. (2002) Womens experiences of non-traditional employment: is gender equality in this area a possible?", Construction Management and Economics, 20 (5), 449-56"
Yates, J.K. (2001) Retention of Non-traditional Engineering and Construction Professionals, Journal of Management in Engineering, 17 (1), 41-48"
Share this article:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.