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Back to Industry - Evaluating Women's Return to Chartered Accreditation Post-Maternity in the Built Environment Professions - Sinead Clarkson

In the built environment sector, maternity leave and family is often perceived as difficult or incompatible with career development and has been shown to negatively impact lifetime earnings and career prospects for women.[1] The ‘double burden’ of work and home life has been demonstrated to be a barrier to both women entering the sector[2] and to career progression.[3] 


For the individual, professional membership is often a pre-requisite for roles in the built environment sector.[4] Where policy for employers is grounded in legislation and guidance,[5] there is little guidance around maternity policy and support for such bodies, despite such organisations being in a unique position to improve gender diversity in the sector through policy.[6] A lack of support from a professional body during maternity leave can have a lasting impact on the careers of its female members.[7]


This project hopes to examine the maternity policies of the built environment sector professional bodies, and to understand the experiences of women who have taken maternity leave while holding membership of a built environment sector professional body. Your participation via the online survey below would be greatly appreciated.

[1] Adda, J., Dustmann, C., & Stevens, K. (2017). The Career Costs of Children. Journal of Political Economy, 125(2), 293-337. doi:

[2] Bee Lan, O., Xiyu, F., & Benson Teck-Heng, L. (2019). Early career women in construction: career choice and barriers. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 601, pp. 12-21. Bristol: IOP Publishing. doi:10.1088/1757-899X/601/1/012021; Marini, M., Pi-Ling, F., Finley, E., & Beutel, A. (1996). Gender and job values. Sociology of Education, 69(1), 49-65. doi:10.2307/2112723; Meyer, C., & Mukerjee, S. (2007). Investigating Dual Labor Market Theory For Women. Eastern Economic Journal, 33(3), 301-316; eich, M., Gordon, D., & Edwards, R. (1973, May). Dual Labor Markets: A Theory of Labor Market Segmentation. American Economic Review, 63(2), 359-365.

[3] McKinsey & Company. (2007). Women Matter: Gender diversity, a corporate performance driver. Atlanta: McKinsey & Company.

[5] HM Government. (1986). The Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations 1986; HM Government. (1996). Employment Rights Act 1996; HM Government. (1999). The Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999

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