SA women celebrating strides in construction ownership

SA women celebrating strides in construction ownership.

Almost half of SA’s construction companies owned by women

South African women are overcoming gender barriers in sectors that were previously known to be dominated by men.

SA women celebrating strides in construction ownership

SA women celebrating strides in construction ownership.

The South African construction industry is making strides in gender parity, according to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) while revealing figures that 48% of South Africa’s construction companies are now owned by women.

This shows the efforts by the sector to ensure that women are equally benefiting from the opportunities in this sector, the CIBD said, but added that female representation can still be improved.  

“One of the many myths told to women is that they must be rough and tough like a man to make it in the construction industry.” 

Over the years, women in the industry have proven that even with our gentle and nurturing attributes, we can still achieve what many deem as the unthinkable and not womanlike,” said Patt Chalwa, Chief Executive Officer at the National Construction Incubator (NCI), one of the country’s leading women owned construction entities.

Percentage is a good representation

With its multiple investors from both the public and private sectors, the NCI programmes aim to support and pave the way for SMEs in the construction industry, with a strong focus on female contractors and the youth.  

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“As a nation, we need to create developmental funding solutions that will cater for this segment of female entrepreneurs who have endeavoured into a challenging and previously male-dominated sector such as the construction sector.”

Perhaps a wholly owned women development organisation in construction could be the starting point for greatness,” said Babalwa Mapisa, NCI Board member and chair of its finance committee.

“Their success is proof enough that the quality of a person’s work has nothing to do with their gender, thus paving way for the much-needed equality and recognition in the workplace.”

Chalwa said her former mentor once told her that when you want to talk about work, surround yourself with men, but when you want to get work done, get women to do the job. 

She believes more women are needed in construction in the country to turn the country’s economy around.