Women that serve as mentors and teachers as well as industry advocates are needed to promote women in construction careers. For years, women made up only 10% of the construction industry workforce.
“The infrastructure bill represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand women’s access to good jobs in construction trades,” said the Center for American Progress (CAP) last year. The Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will advance a Million Women in Construction initiative.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo says one of its goals is to double the number of women in construction over the next decade. “There’s no way the Department of Commerce is investing billions of taxpayer dollars in brand new infrastructure projects and not having those jobs go to people who look like all of America,” said Secretary Raimondo.
Women in construction jobs have risen nearly 50% in the last decade and today women are 14 percent of the construction workforce. One analysis revealed Latina construction workers increased by 117% over the past six years.
“I feel like the trades used to be kind of just white dudes,
and now I look around and it’s everybody.”
College dropout Shannon Connaughton’s dad was a union carpenter. When she became discouraged about her limited earnings potential, he suggested she consider a skilled trade. Now she’s an electrical apprentice, and her biggest challenge hasn’t been the good-old-boys-club. It’s been finding protective gear that fits her petite frame.
Women in Commercial Construction
Entries for women leaders in construction 2023 are being accepted through February 10. This year’s focus is on women shaping commercial construction. Nominate a colleague or team member. Nominate yourself. The nomination form includes your 500-word essay about the nominee.
…and others. Last year’s categories included Up-and-Coming Leaders. Winners will be recognized by Construction Dive during National Association of Women in Construction Week, March 6-12, 2023.