The number of female employees working for IPHA members, Prefabricats Pujol, is more than five times higher than the construction industry average. The company, with its head office in Mollerussa, Catalonia can count 42% of their workforce as women, compared to just 8.9% across the construction industry in Spain.
According to the latest information provided by the Economically Active Population Survey (EAPS ), the proportion of female workers in the construction industry is 8.9%. This marks an increase of around 7,800 women who have joined the industry compared to previous surveys.
To date however, there are only 87,000 women working in construction, undoubtedly one of the most male dominated industries. Thankfully, progress is being made, with the numbers reflecting a clear increase, which is in turn a big step towards equality.
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When looking at Pujol, the number of female employees is clearly above this average, but this includes all positions, not just clerical roles. The women working for Pujol have equal responsibility to their peers as technicians, quality controllers, or undertaking any other task in the factories.
It is within these roles where the construction industry has a long way to go. Jordi Pujol, the President of the Marketing Committee of IPHA, and CEO of Pujol has stated that “we are proud to have reached such a significant percentage and in turn contributed to the fight for equality, which is much needed in our society and for the company”.
The decision to employ more women within Pujol’s workforce was a deliberate strategy which has served the company well since 2001. With most of the group’s production facilities situated in rural areas, it was intended to give opportunities to their nearby communities.
The company also holds an open day every year, so that people can come to see the reality of what happens in the factories. This, in addition to the flexibility of 4, 6 or 8 hour shifts for all employees, has helped them to attract more women into factory-based roles.
Jordi Pujol, Managing Director of Prefabricats Pujol says: “In one year, we have gone from a 35% female workforce to 42%. It’s important that we are contributing to women being represented in a male dominated sector. At Pujol, we will continue to create an environment in which women are appreciated and respected. Our company and all other in general, still have a lot of work to do yet.
There is no doubt that the female workers at Pujol are qualified and able. They have made their place in our company and are committed to their work. Women have demonstrated that they have a high degree of efficiency, responsibility and that they’re up to the task when it comes to require with factory responsibilities. As a company, we look for workers who are committed to their work, no matter the gender.“
Nerea Rubió: My dad and my brother work for Pujol and they encouraged me to apply. It’s the first time I have work in this kind of job and I have been here for a year now. The thing that I enjoy the most is the job itself. I used to work in the hotels and restaurants sector and find this work very rewarding. I am motivated to learn new skills. Some years ago, it would have seemed strange to see a woman doing this type of work. However, women have taken massive strides in the Pujol factories and with that the respect of all of our co-workers. The company continues to add more female works because we are valued. My team of four women carry out the production of slats the same as a team of four men.
Carmen Giral: I was a nursing assistant by profession and my family had the preconceived idea that factory work is a man’s job. The change surprised them and the first few months in the job were physically hard. it’s a very demanding job, however it’s also rewarding and I have adapted to it perfectly. We all work as equals here. The tasks we undertake and the wages are equal for men and women. All of this, as well as my personal experience, makes me feel valued and supported worker. There is great respect between male and female co-workers. The men are always happy to provide a helping hand and the truth is there is no differences between us.
Maria Bosch: Pujol is a company that values their workers independently from sex or race. If you do a good job, you are recognized. The male co-workers have accepted and respect us. We do the same tasks as they do and there is never any competition. The people who know me, know that I adapt to any kind of job and that enjoy learning with everything that I do. It’s very important for me to be able to balance my work with my personal life. To be able to have lunch with my husband and my son is the biggest reward that this work can offer.
Ctra. De Miralcamp, km. 1
25230, Mollerussa (Lleida), Spain