Statistics released in 2022 by the Council for the Built Environment Professions (CBEP demonstrate that male professionals constitute 86% of the built environment, whilst female professionals constitute 14%. These figures highlight the gross underrepresentation of women in the built environment professions, especially considering that Stats SA indicates that women constitute more than half of South Africa’s population.
Further to this, the survey indicated that over 44% of women in the built environment industry identify career knowledge, gender discrimination, racial bias, and inflexible work practices as some of the major barriers in their career advancement.
“The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) joins the globe in celebrating International Women’s Day today in recognising their strong presence, leadership, resilience, and contribution towards economic growth,” says Dr Msizi Myeza, Chief Executive Office at the CBE.
The CBE is promoting the participation and inclusion of women in the built environment sector through the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Transformation Collaborative Forum (WEGE TCF) to intensify the eradication of “male superiority” and “female inferiority” in the South African built environment professions. The WEGE TCF is charged with advocating for a built environment that is safer and more inclusive for women, youth and persons with disabilities. In addition, the CBE’s fundamental mandate is to revolutionise the built environment industry, produce qualified built environment professionals, and accelerate the empowerment of women, youth, and persons with disabilities. It’s important to note that women are a majority on the CBE’s Council and executive management.
In commemoration of International Women’s Day and the celebration of women throughout the month of March, the Council for the Built Environment (CBE) is convening a webinar on economic empowerment for women in the built environment on 15 March 2023. The theme will focus on women’s economic empowerment – their ability to participate equally in existing markets; their access to and control over productive resources; access to decent work, control over their own time, lives, and bodies; and advocating for them from national to international institutions.
“We at CBE believe that meaningful reform can only occur by collective action, and we encourage all women, youth, and people with disabilities to become a part of the growing movement to achieve gender equality in the built environment,” concludes Dr Myeza.
For more information on the CBE, or to sign up to join the upcoming webinar on economic empowerment for women in the built environment, visit www.cbe.org.za