Female construction professionals demand better work conditions

The construction industry is male-dominated in Switzerland and beyond. Keystone / Sigi Tischler

Lack of hygienic facilities and sexual harassment are some of the headaches confronted by women working in the construction industry in Switzerland, according to a trade union survey. 

This content was published on April 22, 2023

Female construction professionals demand better working conditions and an end to sexism, according to the country's largest trade union, Unia. It conducted the survey to gain insights into the concerns of women in the construction industry. 

The survey found that for 73.1% of women, the lack of clean toilets with running water and waste bins for tampons and sanitary pads is a major concern. More than half of the 300 people surveyed had experienced sexual harassment, whether from customers, colleagues or bosses. A quarter of the participants reported that they had suffered sexual violence at work.

The  survey also found that 78% of women in the construction sector work full-time. The survey, conducted from December to March, also found 90.7% would like to better combine work, family and leisure time. Another 92.2% demanded equal pay for equal work.

Unia issued a statement calling on employers to respect the needs and concerns of women in construction and to improve working conditions. This includes better working conditions such as higher wages, clean toilets on construction sites and an end to sexism. 

The statement followed the national gathering of women construction workers in Bern on Saturday. The event brought together painters, bricklayers and electricians, among others. Construction in Switzerland is a male-dominated industry, as is the case around the world. 

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Weekly top stories

Keep up to date with the best stories from SWI on a range of topics, straight into your mailbox.


The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.