Women in Construction Week (WIC Week) takes place during the first full week in March every year and traces the history of women in construction, their challenges, and how they’ve overcome them. This week is a time to highlight all the significant initiatives and work of women within the industry that men have long dominated.
The History of Women in Construction
The history of Women in Construction Week is linked with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). It was first called Women in Construction of Fort Worth, founded in 1953 by 16 women working in the construction industry. It was created to support the few women working in construction at the time.
It later became the National Association of Women in Construction. The association has since gone on to ease the passage of women into construction, helping to create awareness and better working space for those who desire to work in the industry. It has about 115 chapters across the country.
In 1960, Women in Construction Week was introduced in honor of the association. Through the celebration of women in construction, and the numerous efforts of the association, many more women have taken the bold step to venture into the industry, which is predominantly filled with men.
Women in Construction – Current Figures and Trends
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to visually share the state of affairs for women in the construction industry. Below is a graph that shows the rise in the number of women in the industry, the job roles women hold, the distribution of women’s roles compared to men’s, the drop-in unemployment rates, and the states which have the most women working in construction.
Over the past ten years, there has been a continuous upward growth in the number of women employed in the construction industry. The numbers have increased by 52.9%, from 840,000 women in 2013 to 1.28 million women in 2022.
Joan Barton, General Contractor at Dirty Girl Construction, comments, “I have noticed an increase in the number of women who contact me about working in construction, which is a direct result of women being publicly recognized on numerous outlets. This has also translated into a general awareness about the need for earlier education and opportunity, as well as a specific outreach by some companies to train and hire more women.”
Companies will be even more active in their search for female specialists in 2023
The advantages of women in the construction industry have reached not only young and modern companies but also established and classic companies. Because:
- Demographic change and a shortage of skilled workers have left their mark on the construction industry.
- Female managers or employees enrich teams with new ideas and different perspectives.
- Recent studies show that mixed workforces have a better working atmosphere. Employees work more effectively, innovatively, and motivated.
- Young female applicants often show a higher motivation compared to male colleagues.
- Companies win in external perception.
Why Construction is Attractive to Women
Women interested in training and employment in the construction industry can benefit from the following advantages:
- There is regular competition for male and female specialists. Women with the qualifications they are looking for can expect a short job search and very good pay.
- Women often take on a pioneering role, especially in the still strongly male-dominated skilled trades. When women enter the construction industry, they hire new Mission statements.
- Technical expertise is becoming accessible to a wider demographic and is no longer concentrated exclusively among male practitioners.
- For years, campaigns have been campaigning to attract young women to jobs in the construction industry. The desired change is taking place noticeably through the simple provision of technical knowledge.
The Future of Women in Construction
The trend in 2023 will continue to imply that there will continue to be more women in planning and less in execution in construction and finishing. But the players in the construction industry have long understood that there will be no future without women in construction. The increase in the attractiveness of working in the construction industry will continue to progress, as will the efforts toward equality in terms of salary.
PlanRadar celebrates women and all areas of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Let’s come together to celebrate Women in Construction and recognize the achievements of women who are paving the way for future generations!