Breaking down the Boy’s Club Model in Construction …and building up something positive in its place
“No way could you have a pussy* at the wheel because you need to get things done and this is how we get things done.”
People have needed to build things since the caveman days because we have always needed a roof, a road or a bridge.
However even to this day, these activities have been overwhelmingly the preserve of men because men have been the funders, the designers, the engineers, the project managers, and the labour force.
In a sense the whole world of construction has revolved around, and even prided itself on a masculine model – aka a Boy’s Club, with all the attendant metaphors.
Words such as “adversarial, tough, rough, strong, assertive, aggressive, and powerful” typically describes the tone on any construction site, and the almost universal acceptance of this entrenched model has ensured it has remained the stereotype.
No way could you have a pussy* at the wheel because you need to get things done and this is how we get things done. ( *no sexism intended here)
There is no denying that the traditional model has been somewhat effective in achieving on time, on quality, on budget. After all, who would consider not complying when a loud bully- boy stood over them yelling “Get a move on!”
Only another big, enforcer type who could match the firepower!
But the new legislative work environment means that the old ways of doing things have to be reconsidered because the law won’t continue to tolerate certain behaviours.
So what if we could develop another model that still enabled us to get things built, but also allowed us to comply with the new rules?
A model that reflected society’s evolution towards a more collaborative way of communicating, where more sophisticated thinking is employed as opposed to a more primal reaction.
A model that could help you to demonstrate a more nuanced, emotionally intelligent approach and learn to achieve results without threatening, screaming, and swearing when unable to make headway.
A model that helps you to adopt a more reflective, mindful way of relating that whilst different is not weak, but rather its opposite.
Gone are the days of strong-arm tactics and intimidation, and what should replace these behaviours is a more thoughtful approach, which research proves delivers better project outcomes anyway.
If we needed any further incentive to review their Boys’ Club Membership, it is in the fact that there are more women and GenYers on site, whose tolerance for bullies is fast disappearing.
There are many ways to explore new methods of thinking, call Construction Advisor to learn about the differences between the old world and the new one, and how the entire world would benefit from the adoption of a more balanced Take 5 approach.
Construction Advisor is a management consulting firm providing specialist advice and people to the construction industry within the areas of Commercial, Safety, Human Resources, Projects, Business Strategy, Coaching and Workshops.
We’ve done a lot of work in the industry alongside Government Agencies, Tier 1 Construction Contractors and a number of Sub-Contractors, all of which face challenges – some the same, some different. An issue that consistently comes up is the lack of centralisation of construction information, advisors and resources i.e. having one place to go to find all things construction.
We are currently undertaking a project to create Australia’s first Online Construction Marketplace where we will provide just that.
We welcome all enquiries about how we can help your business in this time of unprecedented construction demand and project complexity.