The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) is celebrating Women in Construction (WIC) Week March 4th through March 10th. NAWIC states, “The focus of WIC Week is to highlight women as a visible 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.”
In the U.S., about 800,000 women work in the construction industry, making up only about 9% of the total construction industry workforce. This trend is not only present in the U.S., but is prevalent globally. Many countries across Europe have set quotas for female representation, but rarely are these quotas successfully met. This leads us to the question of “Why?” The construction industry has a reputation of being a tough industry with physically demanding work and burly workers. Many women believe that they will not be respected in such an industry, which discourages them from seeking employment in construction. NAWIC empowers women to stand up against these stereotypes and pursue construction careers.
While entering the construction industry as a woman can be intimidating, there are many advantages. The construction industry has a surprisingly narrower wage gap between men and women than other industries: women make about 93% of what their male counterparts make in the construction industry, where the average in most other industries is around 80%. Another plus of being a woman in the construction industry is the high demand for skilled trade workers. Many women specialize in a particular area of work, which is in demand in today’s construction industry. This means that job opportunities are expanding rapidly for women in construction.
What do we at Chris-Tel Construction think of women in the construction industry? Let us start by saying that a third of our workforce is comprised of women. These women sit in major roles that drive our company’s success. We are proud to say that we give women the same opportunities that we give men, and ensure that women in our industry are treated with respect. So, as far as women on the construction industry, we say bring it on!