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.
Education + Training
Central PA HBA and Penn State Partner to Educate Women About Skilled Trades
The Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania is partnering with Penn State University to teach young women about opportunities for career development in the skilled trades
Women in Construction
Labor Department Announces Grants to Encourage More Women in the Trades
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced $5 million in grants for community organizations working to draw more women into trade apprenticeship programs
Delaware Builder Is First Woman to Receive NAHB’s Custom Builder of the Year Award
Delaware-based Marnie Oursler, president of Marnie Custom Homes, was awarded Custom Builder of the Year for her achievements in housing innovation in the custom home market