30-40% Pay Gap between Men & Women in Indian Construction & Real Estate Industry

30-40% Pay Gap between Men & Women in Indian Construction & Real Estate Industry

By: Navya | Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Primus Partners and World Trade Center’s report ‘Pink Collar Skilling: Unleashing the Women's Power in the Real Estate Sector” sheds light on women and their current status in the Indian construction and real estate industry.

The construction industry is largely considered a male bastion. In several countries, women working in the construction and real estate sectors earn less than their male counterparts. There are a number of reasons why women earn less than men in construction and real estate. One of the most significant is the prevalence of women in lower-paid positions. Discrimination is also a significant factor in the gender pay gap in these industries. Women are often passed over for promotions, and they are less likely to be given opportunities to develop their skills.

This can make it difficult for women to advance in their careers, and can lead to them being paid less than their male counterparts.

The gender pay gap in construction and real estate is a significant problem that needs to be addressed. Women in these industries deserve to be paid equally for their work, and they should have the same opportunities for career advancement as men.

In India, according to a survey on gender inequality in the construction and real estate industries, informal women workers make 30–40% less than male workers.

In a report titled "Pink Collar Skilling: Unleashing the Women's Power in the Real Estate Sector," published by the consulting firm Primus Partners and World Trade Center, it is stated that just 13% of those working in the real estate sector are women.

Key Findings

Only 7 million women are working in the 57 million-person domestic construction and real estate sector, which employs 50 million males, according to the research.

It was also mentioned that women who work as informal construction labourers in India make between 30 and 40 percent less than their male counterparts.

It was noted that this emphasises the "gender imbalance pervasive in the building and real estate business in India."

The survey noted that the hourly rate for women in the construction field is Rs 26.15, with a pay disparity of 34.5%. Males are paid Rs 39.95 an hour.

India only has 2% of female executives in construction enterprises, compared to 14% in the UK and 7% in the US.

"In the real estate industry, there are hardly any women in managerial positions. The few women working there are hindered by the glass ceiling. "

"Across all industries, there are only about 17.3% of women on corporate boards, although this percentage is substantially lower in the construction industry.

According to the research, only 1% to 2% of women hold top managerial positions in this sector.

Only 1.4% of women worked in other technical and managerial positions (supervisors, civil engineers, architects). Less than 2% of them go on to hold leadership roles.

With a 15% pay discrepancy in the industry, women make up 47.6% of licenced architects in India.

Women are highly underrepresented, even in mid-level and semi-skilled positions like site managers, contractors, surveyors, carpenters, plumbers, painters, and masons.

"Women are disproportionately employed in low-paying and dangerous jobs (such carrying heavy loads), such as those in brick kilns, quarries, slab pouring, stone shaping, load carriers, and assistant positions. These tasks require a lot of labour, have health risks, and pay poorly.”

The industry with the highest percentage of casual workers is construction, where close to 84 percent of employees work in this capacity.

The labour force in this industry makes up more than 80% of the occupations, with the remaining 20% being filled by technical positions like engineers and secretarial positions.

"However, female employees in this category are in a worse predicament than their male colleagues. They receive reduced pay (Rs 30% less, sometimes less than 40–50%) and frequently only get to work for half the month "stated the report.

A ten-step pathway with strategic suggestions has been proposed by Primus Partners and the WTC report to close the gender gap in the Indian real estate sector.

The all-women crew lighthouse housing project, the national campaign for gender inclusion and overcoming bias, the monitoring of gender quality through RERA, investment funds for women-led real estate companies, skilling across levels, gender sensitive training, paying attention to safety and working conditions at project construction sites and in operation areas, and priority queue for project approvals for organisations with better performance and career innovation fund are some of these.

"Owing to pre-existing notions, gender-based differential growth trajectories, bias, and exclusivity, the real estate sector remains a deterrent rather than a preferred sector for Indian women," stated Aarti Harbhajanka, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Primus Partners.

She anticipated that more women will soon be taking up challenging positions in finance, administration, human resource management, sales, and marketing. This is evident in the fundamental modifications made to the regulatory framework established by RERA, which have led to increased transparency in the real estate and construction industries.