Just one fifth of board members at construction companies are women

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Board representation and equal pay are both problems in the construction industry (Source: Getty)

Only one in five members of construction company boards are women, new research has shown.

Research by the law firm Clyde & Co shows that just nineteen percent of those on construction company boards are women.

Seventy nine of the 418 board members of the top 50 contractors and housebuilders operating in the UK are women, and of those, 68 per cent hold a non-executive director position.

Clyde & Co construction partner Liz Jenkins said: "Women are one of the greatest untapped resources across the world and construction firms should be focusing on how they can attract, retain and develop female talent at all levels in their organisations. This would increase the skills base and allow construction firms to increase the diversity of thoughts and ideas within their organisations."

Read more: Gender pay gap: Lack of flexible work options holding back women says study

However, board representation is not the only issue facing women in the construction sector.

Construction companies such as Costain Engineering & Construction, Galliard Homes, Lendlease Construction and Redhall Group have published gender pay gap information this year, all showing wide gaps in male and female pay.

The mean gender pay gap was 26.6 per cent at Costain Engineering & Construction, 35.8 per cent at Galliard Homes, 30.4 per cent at Lendlease and 22.8 per cent at Redhall Group.

Read more: Construction activity almost ground to a halt in January

Clyde & Co employment law partner Charlie Urquhart said: "Across all industries gender pay gap reporting is helping to focus the minds. As expected, the majority of companies' data shows that there are more men in senior positions, which in turn leads to a wider gender pay gap.

"Continued focus and determination is needed across all industries to improve diversity in senior roles. Construction is no different."

The government’s gender pay gap legislation requires companies with more than 250 employees to calculate and publish their gender pay gap information online by 4 April.