Graduating Female Students’ Long-Term Career Decisions and Underrepresentation of Women in South Africa’s Construction Industry

  • Yolanda MorabaEmail author
  • Oluwayomi Babatunde
Conference paper


The underrepresentation of women in South Africa’s construction industry has not improved over the past decade despite the increase of the graduation of females in the university’s faculty of the built environment. This study investigates the career decisions made by graduating female students based on their perceptions of the construction industry, and how their long-term career decision affects the underrepresentation of women therein. This pilot study used an online questionnaire distributed to female students registered for BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying at a university in South Africa. The pilot study was extended with interviews conducted with recent QS graduates. The findings from the study report on the factors that motivated female students and recent graduates to study a QS degree, the challenges experienced during their studies, and how the experienced challenges influence their long-term career decisions. To sustain the industry’s business development and growth, graduating female students need to be attracted and retained by the construction industry.


Barriers Career decisions Construction education Factors Female postgraduates 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Construction, Economics, and ManagementWits UniversityJohannesburgSouth Africa

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