Just one in every ten construction workers is female, according to new figures from the Construction Industry Federation.

Most of those women are involved in off-site roles - including administration, finance and marketing - with very little female representation in some of the more front-line construction roles.

The CIF survey also found that while 70% of firms recognise the need for more women in the industry, just 4% had structures in place to make that happen.

The Construction Industry Federation is hoping to change that, however, with its Building Equality campaign aiming to improve the gender balance of the sector. 

The CIF said that while that will make the industry more representative of the population, it will also ensure it can grow in the years to come. 

Part of the CIF campaign has seen it trying to spread its message to the next generation of potential employees.

To this end, the CIF has partnered with Donegal toy-maker Arklu, which has sent a special edition of its popular Lottie doll to building sites around the country.

Jean Winters, Director of Industrial Relations with CIF, said that increasing the proportion of women in construction can yield significant increases in terms of output and productivity. 

"Studies have shown that increasing female participation, particularly in leadership roles throughout industry, at managerial and CEO level, can lead companies to improve profitability by up to 15%," she noted.

CIF President Dominic Doheny said that the CIF are focused on removing barriers to women building careers in construction.

"I believe that from the youngest age, young girls are dissuaded from even considering working in construction and engineering, so by the time, these young girls have grown up they have been consciously and unconsciously deterred from our industry. We, as an industry, need and very much want to address this," he added.