Over the last few years, the construction industry has seen an increase in female employees in the field and the office. Men have typically dominated the industry. However, women are breaking down barriers and finding ways to close the gender gap.
The industry offers many opportunities for women. From working on a jobsite or in a shop, to supervising staff, leading departments, or running their own construction companies, women are essential contributors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the construction industry will add about 400,000 new jobs from 2020-2030, which will allow for growth and advancement for anyone seeking a career in the industry.
Despite the vast opportunities the construction industry offers, many companies worry about the ongoing labor shortage issues. Many people on the field are reaching retirement age, and there’s a deficit of young skilled workers ready to take their place. In addition, construction firms compete with other rising industries like healthcare, technology and engineering for younger workers. Trade-specific apprenticeship programs are finding creative ways to connect younger generations to career paths outside of the four-year college route and helping K-12 schools promote it with programs like welding and infusing STEM with construction education.
Women can take on any role in the construction industry and hold titles like architect, administrator, or project manager. Whether they’re wearing a hard hat or keeping things running behind the scenes, women bring value to the jobsite and the office with fresh perspectives. However, they are underrepresented in trade and executive positions. Statistics show that just under 87% of women working in construction hold office positions, and only about 2.5% of tradespeople are women. Women also only make up about 14% of staff executive and 7% of line executive positions.
Organizations like Transportation & Construction Girl are taking the lead in reaching young women before their last few years in high school to demonstrate the value they can have in the industry. As the construction industry looks for solutions to the growing workforce shortage problem, recruiting women appears to be one of the most viable and necessary to ensure long-term industry progress.
RK takes pride in fostering an environment that encourages men and women alike to learn from one another and strive for excellence in their craft, whether in the shop, a jobsite or in the office. The future is bright for young men and women looking to pursue a career in construction!
Written by Ileana Morales
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How to Adapt to the Skilled Labor Shortage in Construction, accessed March 4, 2022, Propeller Aero