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Experts Discuss Women in Construction, Diversifying the Workforce

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Women in Construction

Experts Discuss Women in Construction, Diversifying the Workforce

An expert panel discusses the various challenges and solutions emerging as more women embark on careers in construction

March 5, 2024
Diverse construction workforce with different ages, genders, races
Image: Coral N/peopleimages.com / stock.adobe.com

While data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that men still fill far more positions than women in the construction trades, women are making strides and businesses looking to diversify their workforces are creating a growing range of opportunities for women in the construction industry.

Tara Cavalline, a professor of civil engineering technology and construction management at UNC Charlotte was part of a recent discussion among women in construction about the growing gender parity within the field, Charlotte Business Journal reports. Among those joining Cavalline in the discussion were an assistant project manager and estimator, a director of project development for a general contractor, and  Stacy Doherty, who is director at Churchill Real Estate, a lender for the multifamily residential market.

One challenge noted by the panel was the lack of women mentors in this male-dominated industry, making it important for women—including those still in the early stages of their careers in construction—to be confident in taking their place on their teams and to speak up and share their insights.

Doherty is one of the few senior women in her company.

“It’s a male-dominated industry, but I have earned a seat at the table at Churchill and my voice does matter,” Doherty says. “I am extremely optimistic because I feel that the push for diversity and inclusion across the country beyond just the real estate industry, is helpful for everyone.”

Cavalline says the push to get more K-12 girls interested in STEM careers may help increase the number of women choosing careers in construction. She teaches a course in construction materials, a class of about 90-100 undergraduates who see a female teacher in one of their first courses.

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