Lack of female facilities 'a major issue' on construction sites
Unite have said it is vital that women construction workers can experience “period dignity” on sites.
A survey conducted for the union found that a lack of facilities for women when they are having their periods is a major issue for many workers.
One respondent said: “[I] asked for sanitary bins, [but] got ignored. If a female says anything they don’t like, they put it down to PMT.” Another added: “One portaloo. No separate changing facilities. No sanitary product bins or dispensers.”
The union is asking companies to:
- Ensure each site or depot has a designated female toilet, which is always accessible, regularly cleaned and lockable;
- Provide handwashing facilities with running water and soap;
- Provide sanitary bins which are emptied and cleaned regularly;
- Make free sanitary products available at dispensers in a discrete location.
Women only make up around 13 per cent of the construction workforce
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail (pictured) said: “With ever-growing skills shortages in our industry, it is absolutely essential that construction becomes more attractive to women workers.
“A small step in achieving this is to ensure that women construction workers can have period dignity at work.”
The first site to sign up to the construction period dignity campaign is the £1bn Glasgow University Campus development, which is being built by Multiplex.
Multiplex head of community engagement Caron Dunlop said: “At Multiplex, we are committed to providing great workspaces for everyone, which includes making our sites as comfortable for women as they are for men.”
The National Federation of Builders is also backing the union’s campaign.
NFB member Monika Slowikowska, director of Golden Houses Limited, said: “If we’re going to encourage more women into the construction industry, their basic needs must be met.”
Construction News has launched Inspire Me, to promote the role of women as leaders in the construction industry.
A series of workshops will take place throughout 2019 to help learn, inspire and network, at venues including Bristol, London and Glasgow.