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The construction industry is facing a severe shortage of skilled labor, one that’s worsening as workers begin to retire from the industry at a much faster rate than new people are being hired. With demand for workers at an all-time high, women are rising to the occasion in record numbers, but compared with men, their presence is still far more limited, Construction Dive reports.

Women currently make up 14% of the overall construction workforce, and while that share is at a record high, construction companies could recruit even more women simply by implementing new measures to support them in their respective careers. According to a new survey from the nonprofit National Center for Construction Education & Research, that begins with eliminating discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace and bias in the hiring process.

Bias in the hiring process: Despite the high demand for workers, gender discrimination in hiring is still alive and well, respondents said. Companies often require a recommendation before they interview for a position — a practice that disproportionately hurts women, who are less likely to already know someone in the field. To address this, employers must ensure consistent hiring practices.

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