The role of women in the construction industry can be difficult to discern due to the relatively small population of female construction professionals as compared to their male counterparts who dominate most project sites across the United States. Construction is unquestionably a male-dominated industry, but women can still greatly contribute to any project site if we stop rationalizing the long-standing belief that construction is “for men” and embrace a more inclusive outlook.
Let’s face it, the construction industry is in dire need of skilled workers, and women can help rectify our nationwide labor shortage if we can offset the tremendous disparity between the number of male and female construction workers. In part one of this two-part series, our Memphis construction attorneys will explore the role of women in construction and take a look at one woman’s experience working on a project site for the summer.
Are Women the Future of Construction?
Stepping onto a construction site can be polarizing for the uninitiated. Simply being in the presence of loud, heavy machinery and tall, half-built buildings can make you feel extremely vulnerable, especially if you’ve never toured a construction site with a professional before. From a young age, we’re conditioned to classify certain jobs by gender. Nurses are almost always characterized as female, and firemen are usually portrayed as men. Construction workers fall into the latter category of male-dominated professions, but when someone decides to ignore these pre-established norms and follow their own path, surprising things can happen.
One Woman’s Construction Story
Allie Ruhl published the story of her summer working in construction on The Lala, a website “dedicated to empowering 20-something (year-old) women from across the globe with the authentic, positive and uplifting content they’ve been waiting for.” In her article, “I Was A Female Construction Worker For A Summer, And It Was The Best Job I’ve Ever Had,” Ruhl explains the benefits of working in construction including:
- No sitting in the office staring at a computer all day
- Coworkers care about and protect you
- Maintain unexpected friendships long after a project is completed
- Experience a different path of life, not a wrong one
- Realize a person’s career doesn’t define them
- Gaining valuable skills with real-world applications
Although many women may feel discouraged from pursuing a career in construction, the undeniable truth is this: the construction industry needs women workers to help increase productivity, provide skilled labor, and help fight the labor shortage. In part two of this two-part series, our Memphis construction attorneys will examine more stories of women in construction and some of the shocking statistics that illustrate the pervasive gap between male and female workers in the construction industry.
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.