Celebrating Women in Construction Sector

Falguni Padode, Group Managing Editor, ASAPP Info Global Group

I have been a part of this industry for 20 years through our publications: reporting on the domain, documenting growth, creating benchmarks and voicing the issues, opinions and progress of a-then-very-unorganised segment.

In 2003, we instituted awards for the Construction industry. In the first few years it was almost always a completely male dominated event. A few times , I have been the only woman in the room. Over the years, thought the numbers are somewhat better, the ratio is completely skewed. Given this, we started a column called Women In Construction in CONSTRUCTION WORLD. We met and interviewed women who were at the helm of corporations and found that most of them had not really encountered issues with gender; it was more like sectors that women did not venture into in the first place. The pre- conceived male bastions that had to be broken into.

In the course of my work when I was working with FLO, the women’s wing of FICCI, I happened to meet the then-head of the World Bank, a Japanese lady. She shared with us, the critical role that the World Bank knows that women play in the GDP growth; as 50% of the population in India, women are in a unique position to add to the GDP growth, but enough support is required in the areas of childcare and elderly care;  both these are areas where women are primary care givers and often reasons why they drop out of the workforce.  Support in this area, through child care and geriatric services can boost women’s contributions to the workforce. I have so often had women giving up their jobs due to their inability to cope, due to the lack of a support structure.

My journey so far has been deeply enriching. Being in the forefront of a sector that is a harbinger of growth for the country has been both, deeply satisfying, and frustrating when sectoral growth hasn’t happened as it should have. One does see the changing aspirations of women within and outside this sector. However, gender parity is a work in progress which has a long way to go.




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