There are 9.9 million men working in the construction industry. There are 1.1 million women in construction. In addition to the disparity of employment, there’s also a difference in the roles men and women in construction have.
Most men in construction have jobs in:
- Construction labor
Women in construction are usually in administrative or office positions.
8 Women in Construction
The irony of the old jingle, “You’ve come a long way, baby” isn’t wasted on most women. Nobody should put “baby” in a corner or even in a corner office if she’d be happier and productive on a construction site.
These women in construction are making a positive difference that can raise the bar high enough to break the glass ceiling for others:
- Angela Cotie is a project executive at Gilbane Building Company and chairman of the board for Houston’s Architecture, Construction & Engineering mentoring program. She is also a founding member of AGC of Houston’s Women in Construction.
- Kaitlin Frank is a superintendent at Dome Construction in San Francisco. She develops training content for construction field workers and co-founded eMOD, a safety construction app.
- Karen Alba is team lead for a University Health System project in San Antonio, Texas. She leads networking programs for minority-owned businesses and mentors women on the jobsite.
- Kathleen Culhane is president of Nontraditional Employment for Women, a pre-apprenticeship union construction program. She’s increased New York City’s women in union construction apprenticeships to 12%.
- Kerri Smith is vice president of Baker Concrete Construction. AGC recently awarded her team the Eagle and Young Professionals Awards for a Miami cruise line terminal project. All team members on the project were under 35 years old.
- Lori Dunn-Guion is a project engineer and currently president of Swinerton Foundation, a nonprofit workforce development organization. She also is one of the founders of the Tony Williamson Memorial Scholarship for Cypress Mandela Training Center. The scholarship awards $1,200 plus a three-month training paid internship to individuals pursuing careers in construction.
- Meirav Oren is the founder of Versatile Natures, an Israeli-based company that uses sensors to collect construction project site data and information. Versatile was the first construction technology firm to be named Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.
- Wendy Ho mentors women in construction and she’s a key player on public-sector construction projects in New York City. She also manages public-sector construction projects for AKRF, an environmental engineering firm. Wendy currently leads a $1.45 billion project; the largest resiliency initiative in NYC’s history.
Getting women in construction out of the office should be a construction business’ goal. Diversity in leadership serves as an invaluable tool and it’s time for us to find ways to level the playing field.