Women comprise only 10.3 percent of all the people working in construction. That is 1.25 percent of women in the workforce because women make up 47 percent of all employed individuals. However, new construction industry jobs are expected to balloon in 2022 and companies are looking to recruit more women in executive roles than ever.
Why does the gender gap exist?
1) Unconscious gender bias
2) Lack of adequate training
3) Overall perceptions of women working in construction
Bridging the gap
Although women are still underrepresented, they are making significant headway as executives in the construction industry. Companies are more recently promoting women to executive roles. They are increasing their efforts to promote women and educate young women about the benefits of working in the industry.
Reasons for gender-diversity
A report by Mckinsey & Co shows that gender-diverse companies are 25 percent more likely to achieve above-average profitability than companies with less diversity. The same report found that construction companies with more women in executive line roles than staff roles experienced above-average financial performance compared to those companies that didn’t. Diversity is a proven asset in driving profitability and a solution to the construction to the industry’s labor shortage.
The Rise of the women executive
The pay gap in the construction industry is the lowest of any U.S. industry. 44% of the top 100 contracting companies have women in executive roles. Most women who work in the industry feel that they have an opportunity to advance in their current role. Another area in which women are advancing is in business-ownership, with 13% of construction companies being owned by women. There was a 64% increase in the number of woman-owned construction companies from 2014 to 2019.
Challenges facing women in construction
Despite the headway women are making in the industry, they still face challenges in gender bias and career advancement barriers. Women are often primary caretakers and often have to juggle being a caretaker and working a fulltime job. To remedy this problem, the advancement of technology and the ability to work remotely allows for more flexibility. Another consideration for women is whether they want to work on the job site or in the office. But things have become less manual and more women are in supervisory roles.
Resources for women considering executive careers in construction
Women have a multitude of resources available to them to enter into the construction industry. There are organisations like National Association of Women in Construction and Women Construction Owners & Executives USA which provide mentorship, marketing and networking opportunities to help women who are new to the construction industry.
Large construction companies offer courses and boot-camp programs for young girls and any women interested in the industry. Many cities also offer apprenticeship programs that strive to recruit women, prepare them for exams, and train them with job-specific skills.
There are also construction forums and conferences held to celebrate and discuss the topic of women in construction. These include: National Association of Women in Construction annual conference and Groundbreaking Women in Construction conference which provides management training and teaches women how to bridge pay gaps in their workplace.
Kaufman Search & Consulting works with leading Contractors and top-level talent throughout the country, building teams for tomorrow’s projects one perfect fit at a time. We use extensive know-how and our solid relationships with key decision makers at our client companies to elevate your executive career in construction.