The Rise of Women in the Construction Industry
During World War II, Rosie the Riveter represented the fierce women working in the trades. Today that same spirit is reinvigorating the construction industry as women are becoming the new faces beneath the construction industry’s hardhats.
In addition to seeking employment in fields like construction, mining and oil and gas extraction, women are taking leadership positions in construction companies. They’re even starting their own construction companies.
These women are dispelling myths, diversifying the workforce and creating new opportunities for progress.
Breaking Down the Gender Gap in the Construction Industry
As the economy has recovered from the recent recession, the construction industry, as well as the oil and gas industry, have seen significant comebacks. The growth has created double-digit demand for workers. Although typically thought of as male-dominated industries, women are finding significant employment opportunities in both sectors.
In fact, a CNN article cites a Bureau of Labor Statistics statistic estimating that 46% of new jobs in the oil industry went to women in 2013. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 Population Survey states that women make up 9.3% of those employed in construction and 13.1% of those employed in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industries – and the growth trend is expected to continue.
Why Construction Labor Attracts Women
In the past, many people passed on higher education in order to take a job in the construction industry. Today, top-ranking schools, such as Columbia University, are placing more emphasis on construction-related career paths by offering coursework and graduate studies in construction administration, construction engineering and construction management. That means a more diverse group of people – including women — are getting exposed to the construction industry and pursuing a college degree so they can obtain a good job.
In addition to increased educational opportunities, women are attracted by the job security offered by the construction industry; the need for construction managers is projected to grow steadily into 2024.
The construction industry also offers women the opportunity to become entrepreneurs. According to statistics from the National Association of Women in Construction, from 1997 to 2002 there was a 20% growth rate among the number of all women-owned construction firms, with a 67% growth rate for the same years among women-owned construction firms without employees. Although one of the industries with the lowest concentration of female-owned businesses, today 7% of all construction companies are owned by women.
There is a Bright Future for Women in Construction
Women are valuable employees in the construction industry. They have the intelligence, mettle, resolve and work ethic the industry needs. Whether women are doing labor intensive jobs or leading firms, they are raising the bar and changing the game just as much as their male counterparts.
CLC works with skilled craftsmen – men and women – to match them with the perfect job opportunity in the construction industry. Whether you need to find a job or staff a construction project, we can help. Learn more today!.