Nada Šmid. Headmistress of Secondary School for Economy, Services and Civil Construction, School Centre Kranj

Women are suitable and necessary in construction because both principles of operation intertwine and complement each other in life, and excluding one gender is against the laws of nature.

QUESTION: How do you see the current situation of women in the construction sector?

ANSWER: Men are more suitable for construction work due to the need for physical strength. However, the situation is different in the field of design, where women can compete equally with men. Sometimes, women are even in an advantage due to their practicality, but their emotions may limit their rationality. As an example, I would mention the recently deceased world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid, who created a series of buildings and greatly influenced modern architecture, which is a part of the construction industry.

QUESTION: And what do you thing is the reason for this?

ANSWER: As mentioned above, the weakness of women’s constitution is in operational work, while their psychological superiority is an advantage in the field of design. Women are characterized by persistence and a practical approach in solving tasks and problems.

QUESTION: To what extent is this already a change from the past?

ANSWER: Due to the subordinate role of women in the past, the proportion of women in non-operational areas of the construction industry is still too small today. In some traditional societies with caste systems (such as Nepal, India, parts of China…), women also perform the toughest construction work. In the past, this was common practice, but today it is becoming increasingly unacceptable and conflict-ridden due to the accessibility of information, awareness, and the influence of cultural mixing and lifestyle changes.

QUESTION: The construction industry is still a male sector. What measures can be taken to significantly increase the proportion of women in the near future?

ANSWER: Especially in understanding that the feminine principle can be very welcome in the construction industry. With the presence and appropriate role of women in the construction industry, a different (more successful) approach to solving project tasks can be established and promoted.

QUESTION: What does this mean for companies (employer branding) and their recruitment strategies?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I mainly work in the field of educating construction workers.

QUESTION: Which role do trainers have in vocational training centres?

ANSWER: Mostly in an educational and responsible role.

QUESTION: What potential do digitization and green technologies offer in this context?

ANSWER: Both areas are very suitable for women, given their specific characteristics. Because here, a sense is more necessary than raw (physical) strength.

QUESTION: What advantages do you see having more women in the construction professions?

ANSWER: As an advantage of including women in the construction field, I see teamwork (male and female); in this way, the functioning of professional decisions and consequently solving problems arises from the male and female principles of operation.

Professions that predominantly involve intellectual work and communication are suitable; both require sensitivity, refinement, empathy, and a sense of beauty and harmony.

QUESTION: What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the construction industry?

ANSWER: I especially advise young women to shake off stereotypes that construction is only a male-dominated field; they should enter the field of construction with the awareness that due to their typical feminine qualities, they can operate very successfully. Just as in everyday life, male and female energy must intertwine and complement each other to form a comprehensive sense.