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How Construction Companies Can Create Equitable Jobsites for Tradeswomen

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Women in Construction

How Construction Companies Can Create Equitable Jobsites for Tradeswomen

Females are flocking to the construction industry in record numbers, but they still make up a largely underrepresented segment of trade workers


March 16, 2022
Female trade worker on jobsite

Though the number of active tradeswomen in the building industry is on the rise, female laborers still account for only 11% of total workers in construction overall, and women are also underrepresented in leadership positions, making up just 17% of management roles. In a male-dominated industry, women are still regularly subjected to workplace harassment and non-inclusive language and behaviors.

In order for the industry culture to keep up with its growing female workforce, companies should prioritize “inclusion without tokenization” to welcome women without capitalizing on their presence for the sake of filling a quota, says ConstructionDive. By providing sufficient resources and being open to change, the construction industry will see a blossoming community of female workers on jobsites and in leadership roles.

“‘Culture add’ is essential in the workplace, and not ‘culture fit,’ because that’s how we unlock and maximize our personal and business gains,” said Jennifer Morales, underwriting consultant with Chicago-based CNA Insurance. “It’s recognizing the potential in the individual.”

To create enduring change, leadership has to be all-in and make an organizational investment to the effort, said Melanie Ryan, CEO of Seattle-based MFR Coaching and Consulting. That means taking action, evaluating progress and providing sufficient resources. Men in power also have to recognize women’s value and boost women into leadership roles, the panelists said. 

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