Even in the midst of a construction boom, firms are still struggling to find workers. Yet, this does not necessarily have to be the case. As discussed in part one, one of the ways in which construction firms can combat our country’s narrow talent pipeline, especially where women are concerned, is to invest their time and resources into a robust apprenticeship program.
As Tampa construction lawyers, we are supportive of diversity in the construction field. It is important that everyone understand the challenges women face before and after they enter the construction industry. Read this final section to learn about some of the barriers women face.
The construction industry is typically associated with men, so it is not surprising that some people may not view the industry as “women-friendly.” The industry is viewed as a masculine occupation where one must act like “one of the boys” to thrive. Historically, there has been a lack of images depicting women in the industry. However, times are changing and women can be found in advertisements and other construction-related materials.
Getting into the construction field is not easy. Breaking into this industry means combating stereotypes about it being a man’s job. Additionally, many women do not know where to start when it comes to preparing for a career in trades. Finding these programs will require some research and there is no clear path to getting in. Conducting web searches, researching schools and unions, and even contacting contractors might be necessary to find information on entering the construction industry. You will never know about the application periods or waitlists, which can last a year or more, if you don’t commit yourself to researching this information.
Depending on a person’s choice of trade and range of skills, apprenticeships can vary in length. However, they can typically average around three to four years. A woman interested in the program can expect to work under the mentorship of seasoned professionals, receive supplementary classroom instruction, get a bump in salary as they complete each level of their training, and ultimately land a high-paying job after graduating. Acquiring quality contacts and mentors are a major key to advancement.
Construction work is physically challenging. Although all construction professionals face safety and health hazards, there are unique safety and health concerns specific to women. Nevertheless, there are women who are perfectly capable of doing the physical work required of some trades. Challenges women may face include ergonomic challenges with machines and tools, difficulty finding personal protective equipment that fits properly, and an unwelcoming work culture that may involve sexual discrimination and harassment.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.