Alenka Ambrož Jurgec. Headmistress of the Secondary Construction School and Gymnasium Maribor

QUESTIONHow do you see the current situation of women in the construction sector?

ANSWER: Personally, I think that the position of women in construction is better than it used to be. Although construction is still valued as a rough and therefore male profession, there is a slight increase in the number of women in the profession. There are many new areas in the sector where women are more easily recognised and therefore more easily integrated into these professions.  I believe that the days of dividing the professions into men and women are over, and I agree with the Slovenian Minister, lady, in this area. I notice a slight increase in the number of female students compared with previous years.

QUESTIONAnd what do you thing is the reason for this?

ANSWER: I see the main reason for the lower representation of women in the construction sector as a lack of knowledge of the fields of work in the construction sector. There is still a prevailing perception in society that construction is mainly a building operation, pouring asphalt in the middle of the night on the road, i.e. in the open, and hard physical work with demanding schedules, which women find difficult to balance with family commitments. Of course, there are many areas in construction today where this is not the case and where women can be dominant. Especially with green platforms, digitalisation, there is a lot of potential for women. However, this requires a social climate in which women can also be found in these areas. A higher proportion of women would also bring advantages to the industry. Women have precision, an affinity for the environment, social responsibility, concern for the futu

QUESTIONWhat measures do you think should be put in place to achieve a greater incorporation of women in companies in the sector?

ANSWER: As regards ways of increasing the proportion of women in the construction industry, I see the possibility, first and foremost, of informing the public, and it seems important to me that this information should reach primary school girls. Our secondary construction school is attended by primary school pupils, who often already have a formed opinion about their profession. Here, as a secondary school, we would need more support from companies, which get ready-made staff from schools and are the last in the chain, and are therefore not sufficiently aware of the importance of addressing the general public and promoting these professions. Public promotion of the professions, proper early career guidance and showcasing opportunities for women could go a long way. I would also like to see the state’s help in this. Once primary school pupils enrol in our school, it is already a success, and from then on we ourselves inspire them about construction, introduce them to new developments, digitalisation and career potential, etc. More than 80% of our pupils stay in construction.

QUESTIONYou have mentioned the importance of training for the incorporation of women in general, for the incorporation of new workers or for updating the training of professionals who are already working in the sector. What role do training centres and trainers have in achieving this objective of attracting more women and more young people to the sector?

ANSWER: We introduce young girls who come to our construction school to many job opportunities, and the construction industry is developing so much that there are usually new job opportunities by the end of their schooling. Currently 30% of the pupils are on the construction technician programme. We look forward to every girl who enrols, as it changes the climate in the classroom. The girls are very well respected at school and have a good academic record, in fact they are better than the boys. I also think it is important that in companies the men in the teams are also respectful towards women or girls.