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Long hours have no bearing on work


As a woman working in construction, your headline 'Women in construction earn less but work less' (NCE 13 December 2001) caught my eye.

Why was it necessary to use this provocative headline when within the article it is acknowledged that the average number of working hours for women appears less due to the number of administrative and support staff included?

When the industry is desperate for new recruits and should be employing more women, this kind of headline is most discouraging and reflects poorly on the women already in the profession. As an engineer, I know that I have worked the hours necessary to carry out my role, even in situations where it is has become apparent that salary scales are not necessarily balanced.

With reference to the working hours KPI, from my experience, the number of hours that someone says they work does not necessarily have a bearing on the amount of work that they actually do.

The still evident macho site culture breeds people who think it is admirable to spend 12 hours on site, six days a week without even allowing for travelling time and who do not stop to consider whether their time is being well spent.

Generally people working excessive hours are less effective and it is time that the industry recognised this.

Tanya Sargent (M) tanya. sargent @bpbovis. com

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