There is lots of buzz in the US about women in the construction industry. Questions are being asked about why more women are not attracted to the field, how more women can be attracted to a career in construction, and who are the leading women in US construction.
We wanted to show you what women in construction look like in the rest of the world, specifically in Cambodia where women are construction workers as a matter of necessity. They, like migrant workers around the world, work hard for their living, and women are paid less than men for that work.
The BBC News recently covered the women in construction in Viet Nam and Cambodia in an article titled Cambodia’s Female Construction Workers. The BBC documented some of the women who have returned from Thailand after the government there tightened the rules governing migrant workers. They are in Cambodia to work on construction sites in a market that is expanding at a very rapid pace.
According to the article and images, about a third of the construction workforce in Phnom Penh are women and they work on construction sites that are a far cry from the construction sites in the US.
When you look through the pictures in the article pay close attention to the fact that they have no “personal protection equipment”, a requirement on the majority of construction sites in the US.
There are no steel-toed work shoes on any of the women pictured in the article. Makes me wonder how many of them have feet crushed and toes cut off in the process of their workday. The comments reflect the very nature of migrant workers everywhere in the world: “Living on the jobsite to save money. Living with their families nearby. Sending money made back to their family in the countryside.”
They do look proud of the jobs they do and the fact that they get paid weekly for their work.
Thanks to the BBC for reminding us to remember the construction conditions in the rest of the world.