Barriers to the Professional Development of Qualified Women in the Peruvian Construction Industry

Urpi Barreto, Eugenio Pellicer, Andrés Carrión, Cristina Torres-Machí

Research output: Contribution to journalOriginal Articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The construction industry frequently offers an unwelcoming environment for women, and those who do manage to enter have high rates of turnover and abandonment. Within this scenario, this research aims to identify the barriers faced by qualified women, to analyze the different views that qualified men and women have regarding these barriers, and to find the underlying factors that group these barriers and their degrees of importance. In the context of this research, "qualified" men and women are those who hold a university degree (in construction-related areas). Initially, 20 barriers were identified analyzing previous contributions. These barriers composed the statements of the questionnaire survey; data were obtained from 429 professionals in the Peruvian construction industry. It was found that women face invisible barriers throughout their careers and have fewer professional opportunities than men. The main perceptual dissimilarities between men and women indicate that men interpret womanhood as a form of positive discrimination, which, far from being a professional barrier, is considered an advantage by them. Likewise, women agree that if they take maternity leave, they will suffer a loss in the hierarchical order; furthermore, the industry does not have flexible work schedules, childcare programs, or provisions for career breaks. Five underlying factors were extracted from the analysis: "male oriented labor market," "detrimental issues for being a woman," "harsh working conditions in the construction industry," "unfavorable perception of the construction industry," and "high competitiveness of the construction industry."

Original languageAmerican English
Article number05017002
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
StateIndexed - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Barriers
  • Construction industry
  • Peru
  • Qualified professionals
  • Women


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