Addressing the skilled labor shortage means attracting more workers and diversifying outreach. Adding more women to the construction workforce presents an opportunity for the industry, says the National Association of Home Builders. The share of women in construction grew by 0.6% from 2019 to 2020, now accounting for 10.9% of the construction workforce. Prior to the Great Recession, the share of women in construction was close to today’s levels, but that dropped 30% by 2010. From 2010 to 2017, the share slowly increased but remained below the pre-recession peak.
Overall, the share of women in construction increased to 10.9% in 2020. According to the Current Population Survey, women in the construction are mostly involved in such occupations as office and administrative support, management, business and financial operations. Sales and office occupations employed the largest number of women within the construction industry. For example, women accounted for 69 percent of workers in sales and office occupations, including 444,000 women in office and administrative support, and 32,000 in sales and related occupations in 2020. Around 398,000 women were engaged in management, professional, and related occupations.
While construction and maintenance occupations account for the largest number of employees in construction, and is where additional workers are needed, women comprised only 6 percent of the such occupations. More improvement is needed here. Other groups such as production, transportation, and material moving occupations, and service occupations employed only around 14,000 female workers.