(971) 645-4292

Women In Construction

March 4, 2024

Cecilia De La Rosa

Cecilia De La Rosa

Women in Construction Week is celebrated every year in the first week of March. It's a period dedicated to spotlighting the outstanding efforts and achievements of women in the construction sector. This week also emphasizes the numerous opportunities awaiting women in construction. It reflects on women's history in this field, acknowledging their obstacles and celebrating their triumphs over these challenges. This week is a tribute to the courageous women who have stepped into the construction industry and a motivational push for others who aspire to follow in their footsteps.

History

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), initially founded in 1953 as Women in Construction of Fort Worth by 16 women, has played a pivotal role in supporting women in the construction industry. It transformed into NAWIC and offered education, support, and networking to empower women in construction. In 1960, the industry launched Women in Construction Week to honor these efforts, significantly reducing the gender stigma in the industry and narrowing the wage gap between men and women. NAWIC’s influence extends internationally, aiming to elevate the success of women in construction worldwide.

Women and Minorities in
Construction

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently conducted a study that shows women and people of color are significantly underrepresented in the construction industry, particularly in the higher-paying, more skilled trades. The study reveals that although there has been a notable rise in the number of women working in construction over the past decade, they still constitute merely 11% of the total workforce in the industry. This percentage encompasses office and administrative support roles, with a mere 4% of female construction professionals actively engaged in trade work.

Challenges Faced by Women in
Construction

Despite significant progress, women in construction continue to navigate a multitude of challenges like 
 

  • Gender bias
  • Wage disparities
  • Underrepresentation in leadership roles

 
These obstacles underscore the need for ongoing advocacy, policy reform, and cultural shifts within the industry to create a more equitable and supportive environment for women.

Achievements and Contributions

Women in construction have broken barriers and achieved remarkable success. From leading major infrastructure projects to innovating sustainable building practices, their contributions are reshaping the industry. Notable achievements include 

  • Reducing the gender pay gap, with women in construction earning closer to parity with men.
  • The rise in women-owned construction firms showcases women’s entrepreneurial spirit and leadership in this sector.

Opportunities for Women

The construction industry is evolving, with a growing recognition of the need for diversity and the unique perspectives women bring to the table. Opportunities abound, from on-site roles to executive positions. 

Educational programs and scholarships are increasingly available to support women pursuing careers in construction. Organizations like NAWIC offer networking, mentorship, and resources, empowering women to navigate and succeed in the industry.

Safety and Inclusivity

Safety and inclusivity have become central to the construction industry’s agenda, with significant advancements in policies fostering a respectful, harassment-free workplace. These efforts are paving the way for a more equitable environment where every worker’s contributions are valued and their well-being is prioritized.

The Role of Associations and Networks

Associations like the National Association of Women in Construction play a crucial role in advancing the interests of women in the industry. Through education and networking, these organizations support career development. They serve as invaluable resources for women at all stages of their construction careers, from newcomers seeking guidance to seasoned professionals aiming to mentor the next generation. Furthermore, they actively work to break down barriers and foster a more inclusive and equitable construction industry for women.

Recent Post

Women in Construction Week is celebrated every year in the first week of March. It's a period dedicated to spotlighting the outstanding efforts and achievements of women in the construction sector.
Explore Oregon's bond increase for contractors, effective Jan 2024, aiming to enhance consumer protection and industry standards in construction.
Explore Oregon's bond increase for contractors, effective Jan 2024, aiming to enhance consumer protection and industry standards in construction.