This week is National Women in Construction Week, a time to celebrate the women in construction who are a vital component of the industry as a whole. With March also being Women’s History Month, and March 8 celebrated as International Women’s Day, this month is full of opportunities to highlight the powerful women across the globe who are making a difference.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of December 31, 2016, women made up only 9.1% of the construction industry, or 939,000 women compared to the 9,389,000 men.
Because of the large disparity in the workforce, women in construction are still facing an uphill battle when it comes to advancement in the industry. The lack of female representation has also made it more difficult for those in the industry to recruit and retain female workers. However, it is important to note that the total number of women in the industry has grown by more than 80% in the last 30 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means there has been significant progress, however there is still much more work to be done in the future.
It used to be fairly unheard of to have a woman out working on a job site, and the only woman in a construction company would likely be in an administrative role or at the front desk. Things are slowly changing. More women are seen on job sites and women are beginning to occupy higher positions in construction companies, including project management, preconstruction, estimating and more.
Not only is a diverse workforce healthy for any industry, it is also necessary for continued growth and being able to understand and serve a wide range of clients. Having different types of people in a company, or out on a job site, can bring about different ways of thinking and may introduce more efficient ways of getting the job done.
It is important for women in construction to feel supported and know that they are valued members of our teams. There are many resources available for women in construction to find mentors, connect with others in the industry, and pursue continued education opportunities, including the National Association of Women in Construction, which has local chapters all across the country.
RBV Contracting is proud to have women on our team, but we know there is more than can be done in the future. Our team is dedicated to creating a diverse workforce and we understand the importance of recruiting and retaining both talented men and women.