Breaking Barriers: Women Shattering the Glass Ceiling in the Digital Construction and Engineering Sector


Today we come together to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, an important occasion that sheds light on the underrepresentation of women in the construction industry. With advancements in technology and the growing demand for digital expertise, more women are making their mark in the digital construction and engineering sector. In this blog post, we will explore the inspiring journey of women who are reshaping these industries, backed by statistical data and surveys, highlighting their achievements and shedding light on the ongoing progress.

Women in the Construction and Engineering Industries:

To understand the progress made by women in these sectors, let’s delve into some compelling statistics:

  • On average, women in construction earn about 81-89% of what men earn for comparable roles according to a study “Construction Industry Gender Pay Gap 2019″ by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
  • A study by McKinsey & Company, “Building the Future: How Construction Can Reinvent Itself for the Next Normal.”, shows that women hold only about 3% of executive-level positions in construction companies.
  • In contrast, recent trends show a promising rise in the number of women pursuing careers in the construction and engineering field. In the United Kingdom, the proportion of women working in the construction industry has increased from 12.5% in 2019 to 15% in 2023, according to ONS Statistics. 

The Role of Digital Transformation

The rise of digital technologies has played a pivotal role in transforming the construction and engineering sectors, opening up new opportunities for women to break through the glass ceiling. One of the areas is BIM (Building Information Modeling) and Digital Construction Management (DCM).

Women working in BIM and DCM roles have been making significant strides in recent years, contributing to the digital transformation of the construction industry. While specific statistics on the percentage of women in BIM and DCM roles may vary, anecdotal evidence and industry observations suggest a rise in the participation of women in these positions. Women are increasingly pursuing careers in BIM and DCM-related roles, such as BIM managers, Information managers, BIM coordinators, BIM technicians, and BIM modellers. Here are some insights regarding women in BIM and DCM roles:

  1. Technical Proficiency:
  • Women in digital construction roles demonstrate high levels of technical proficiency and expertise in utilising BIM software tools and workflows.
  • Their knowledge and skills in areas such as 3D modelling, clash detection, quantity takeoff, and project coordination contribute to the successful implementation of BIM processes.
  1. Collaboration and Communication:
  • These roles require effective collaboration and communication skills, as BIM and DCM professionals work closely with architects, engineers, contractors, and other project stakeholders.
  • Women in BIM roles excel in fostering teamwork, facilitating coordination, and ensuring effective communication throughout the project lifecycle.
  1. Innovation and Problem-Solving:
  • Women in digital construction roles bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to projects. 
  • Their problem-solving abilities and attention to detail play a crucial role in identifying and resolving potential issues during the design and construction phases.
  1. Leadership and Advocacy:
  • Women in BIM roles often assume leadership positions, managing BIM teams and driving the implementation of BIM processes within organisations.
  • Some women in BIM and DCM roles also engage in industry advocacy, promoting the benefits of BIM adoption, diversity, and inclusion within the construction industry.

It is important to note that while women are making strides in BIM and DCM roles, there is still progress to be made in terms of achieving gender parity and representation in this area. Encouraging more women to pursue BIM and DCM careers, providing mentorship and support networks, and creating inclusive work environments are vital for further empowering women in BIM roles. Initiatives such as Women in BIM provide mentorship, networking, and educational opportunities for women, advancing their professional growth.

At DCT, we are dedicated to promoting gender equality and creating a work environment that encourages diversity and inclusion. We recognise the crucial role that women play in shaping the future of construction, particularly through their expertise in digital technologies. As we progress, it is vital that we celebrate women’s achievements, promote inclusivity, and continue to create a gender equal environment.