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As Construction Job Vacancies Grow, Women Step Up

Women in Construction

As Construction Job Vacancies Grow, Women Step Up

Women are breaking through a concrete career ceiling and filling open job positions in the skilled trades

August 18, 2022
Women wearing construction gear and looking at laptop on job site
Image: Stock.adobe.com

A record labor shortage is leaving blue collar vacancies all across the U.S., and women are increasingly stepping up and smashing through a career ceiling, Bloomberg reports. Construction has long been a male-dominated industry, but after a wave of baby boomer retirees left 440,000 total job openings in April, women took advantage of an opportunity to rewrite the script and take over.

Since May 2021, over 1 million women have joined the construction workforce, and more are expected to follow as vacancies continue to grow and more companies prioritize diversity and inclusion. 

“We cannot afford in this industry to turn down people purely based on gender,” says Patrice Haley, a member of construction giant DPR’s diversity leadership team. “A lot of that veteran talent is starting to retire,” she says. “We can’t leave any stone unturned.”

One of the things that draws women into construction is the tangible reward of seeing what you’ve built, says Haley, who started out in the industry in a hard-hat-and-boots job. “You get to say: ‘I worked on that, I created that.’ ”

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