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  • Writer's pictureNitin Bopanna T.R

Genderally - Rally for Gender

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

The construction industry has a few women, few and far apart.

At the site, it's often the least paid, most unskilled tasks done by women. Most women are daily wage workers, manually lifting and carrying cement blocks and raw materials to the more skilled masons. Strangely the most physically exhaustive task at a site is assigned to the weaker sex. One wonders why there are no women contractors, masons, carpenters, or fabricators.

Being a designer, further, up the construction value chain, life for a woman architect is of course much easier. Easier but not equal to the male counterpart. A woman designer is constantly forced to prove herself. At the site, each time, each team of workmen; mason, fabricator, tile layer, carpenter, electrician, and plumber is challenged to take instructions from a woman, forcing her to throw her weight around to make sure she is heard, she is clearly understood and instructions followed.

Project after project, she needs to shove in place contractors, make an effort to sound profound with clients, and keep voicing proven skills and qualifications, that men in the field don’t need to bother showcasing. Then of course there’s the #metoo part in the construction industry, with very cultured male clients, who shy away from discussing design with ‘ladies’ and the not-so-cultured male clients who get a high sitting in with and endlessly debate the wanted and the unwanted with a woman.

A shout out to all the ‘ladies’ in the field who have been able to translate a design from paper to reality! Also a shout out to keep the faith, after the story of a dear friend, a woman designer who lost a critical pitch just because she was a woman, being blatantly told she lost the job as it would be tough for a male client to discuss and fight with ‘ladies’.

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