Women in Construction

The construction industry is growing and developing at a fast pace. Women in construction are breaking ground in a male-dominated industry. By 2022, women will make up 46.8% of the construction industry!

Women in Construction

Women in Construction: Paving the Way for Generations to Come

The construction industry is growing and developing at a fast pace. There are exciting times ahead for the industry and those involved in it. Besides technological advancements, more organizations are employing. Yes, women are breaking ground in a male-dominated industry. The availability of resources has opened new doors for women in construction. By 2022, women will make up 46.8% of the construction industry!

During the past 20 years, barriers have been removed, and “roads” to a career in construction have become more accessible to women. Not only are there more opportunities for women, but also resources to pave the way. The resources range from publications and support groups to personal protective equipment (PPE) designed for women. Personal protective equipment for women enhances safety on construction sites. Anywhere from operating heavy machinery to managing construction companies, the number of women in the construction industry is growing. Women are entering the construction sector at a fast pace and they are here to stay!

There are 10 million construction professionals in the US. Of the 10 million, a little more than 1 million professionals are female. That translates to a ratio of 1 woman for every 10 men. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

At the moment, there are 50.04% females in the American workforce. Of the total number of females in the workforce, 10.3% or 1,106,000 are in the construction industry. Below is a breakdown of positions held by women in the construction industry:

  • 45% of construction females work in sales and office roles
  • 31% of construction females work in management roles
  • 21% of construction females work in natural resources and maintenance roles
  • 1.5% of construction females work in service occupation roles
  • 1.4% of construction females work in production, transportation, and material moving roles

Women entered the construction workforce back in 1985. Ever since, the number of female construction professionals has been increasing. Due to the economic crisis in 2008, women stepped out of the building industry for a few years. However, this changed in 2010, when the number of women in the industry started increasing again. That year marked the turnaround for women in construction and by the year 2022 women will make up 46.8% of the construction industry!

The initiatives of trailblazers in the construction field play a vital role. They motivate women to consider and enter the building industry. Some of the popular resources for women in construction are associations and blogs. Other resources include building industry conferences, books, publications, and forums dedicated to women in the industry. We’ve identified and summarized some of the top associations and blogs for women.

Associations:

  • National Association of Professional Women in Construction. Their mission is to support, promote, and connect women and foster diversity in construction. This organization also supports women who are employed in architecture, engineering, and related professions.
  • National Association of Women in Construction. They are committed to champion women to impact the direction of the industry. The organization provides the necessary education, community, and advocacy for women in the building industry.
  • Women Construction Owners & Executives USA. This organization connects women to a network of executive women in the building industry. They focus on mentorship, peer-to-peer relation, information, and support for their members. WCOE is well-known at Capitol Hill for their advocacy of women in the industry.

Blogs:

  • Construction Equality. This blog started in 2007, when the economic recession was underway. The blog originated in the UK and still provides great info on industry social issues. The authors distribute original research and opinions about women in construction.
  • The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). At first, this blog may not seem dedicated to only women. Still, the authors tend to highlight opportunities and point out barriers for women in the building industry.
  • The Women Construction Owners & Executive (WCOE) Blog. The authors do a great job of explaining the latest news in the industry and its impact on women.

Many consider the labor shortage impacting the construction industry a disadvantage. Not so fast! This shortage in the construction industry has forced organizations to embrace diversity. Attracting and retaining women in the industry present many benefits. Organizations that embrace diversity find themselves at an advantage in the industry. Such organizations are also more likely to outperform their competitors. Embracing diversity overcomes the industry labor shortage and expands construction skills.

On the other end of the spectrum, women should aspire to join the industry. There are many benefits for women to join the world of construction. They can lead teams with fresh perspectives. They have the opportunity to grow and pave the way for other females. And they have the opportunity to earn a higher income than traditional female-dominated careers. In the US, women earn on average 81.1% of what their male counterparts make. In the construction industry, the gender pay gap is much smaller. Women earn on average 95.7% of what men make in the industry. Besides this, there are other benefits worth noting, for example, showcasing accomplishments and developing additional skills.

In the end, it all comes down to how dedicated you are to what you do. No matter the gender, age, or background, as long as there is motivation, the industry will grow. All-in-all, there has never been a better time to be a woman in the construction world!