EXPLORING THE EXPERIENCES OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING PROGRAMMES
Covenant University (NIGERIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The participation of females in the construction industry holds several potentials for the industry. Increased female inclusion in construction can bring about complete utilization of the full range of skills and competences available in the industry. Furthermore, more female participation can rebrand the image of the industry as pluralistic. However, empirical studies reveal that females are underrepresented in the construction industry. This paper reports the experiences of potential construction professionals namely architecture and building female students who would someday decide to remain in the construction industry or seek other career alternatives. The paper presents two different experiences: experience in school and practical work experience during industrial training. The study adopted a qualitative research design where in - depth interviews were conducted for 12 and 18 female students from architecture and building programmes respectively in a university in Nigeria. Data obtained from the interview were tape-recorded, transcribed and then analyzed with the use of the NVivo software. Building students described the course as initially complex but simple and interesting once the basic concepts were understood. Architecture students describe architecture as stressful yet interesting. 83% of the Building students interviewed indicated interest in the course and have the desire to practice building on graduation. However, only 37% of architecture students interviewed desire to practice architecture after school. Male domination was a common experience for most of the interviewees. While only 3 interviewees raised issues concerning sexual harassment during industrial training. Suggestions were made on how to increase participation of females in the construction industry which includes: the creation of a vibrant association of women in construction who would serve as role models, counselors and inspiration to female students, incentives such as scholarship for undergraduate and post graduate programmes in construction related courses should be provided to motivate female students, strict policies safe guarding women against sexual harassment and enlightenment of male colleagues on the potentials of female construction professionals to national development.
Keywords: Architecture, building, construction industry, females, male domination, students.