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Gender stereotypes: A barrier for career development of women in construction
Although women representation in managerial positions is gradually increasing, the phenomenon of women being restricted to lower levels, under the glass ceiling effect is still valid in many countries. Different studies in several countries show that the increase of women in managerial positions is unbalanced compared to the total number of the workforce. According to the recent statistics, women managerial representation is less than 1% of the total construction work force in the UK. Several barriers for women's career advancement have been identified, most notably gender stereotypes. The stereotypical belief is that if women in managerial positions possess traditional male characteristic it is a better predictor for success, which reinforces the belief of "think manager-think male" and this discriminates women from reaching the higher positions with characteristics commonly associated with females. Since construction is one of the highest male dominated industries, the effect of stereotypes as a barrier for women's career progression in construction is salient. This paper reviews academic literature on gender stereotypes and its consequent effects on women managers. It attempts to discover the pertinent issues for women in the construction industry in order to reduce the stereotypical image.