Women are making huge strides in the construction industry, but there is still work to be done. Though more women are joining the construction industry than ever before, and opportunities for women in construction are on the rise, they still make up a very small portion of the workforce. As of 2020, women account for only 10.9% of staffing in construction, whereas they are 47% of the total workforce nationwide.
To further challenge the situation, women continue to make less money than men in the industry, making 96 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts, and are in fewer leadership roles throughout the industry. However, there are hopeful signs, and a number of economic factors are increasing opportunities for women to join the construction workforce.
Opportunities for Women in a Changing Economy
The current labor shortage in the industry presents an opportunity to hire even more women in construction jobs. Although there are obstacles for women entering construction, diversity is a proven asset in driving profitability, and a key component in solving the construction industry’s labor shortage.
With more and more groundbreaking women chipping away at gender norms and leveling the playing field, the industry is taking bigger steps at becoming more diverse and inclusive.
Nationally recognized groups like the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Women Construction Owners & Executives USA provide mentorship, marketing and networking opportunities to help women who are new to the construction industry.
How Construction Companies Recruit More Women
To increase recruitment and improve retention, companies need to acknowledge and remove gender bias from their work culture, develop training programs and local mentorship groups specific to women’s needs, include more women in the hiring process and encourage women to become role models for other women.
Schools and educational programs need to highlight the value of construction jobs for women and young girls so that they can see the industry as a viable career path.
Women in Construction Week
The focus of Women in Construction (WIC) Week (March 6- 12) is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry.
WIC Week also provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.