Boosting the number of women working in the construction industry will help mend the labor shortage and usher in a new age of inclusion in one of the world’s most historically male-dominated industries.
In part one of this two-part series, our Memphis contractor lawyers examined the role of women in the construction industry and learned about one woman’s life-changing summer spent installing smoke detectors and hauling heavy materials. In part two, we will continue to explore stories of women in construction and examine the alarming statistics that help illustrate the acute shortage of women in construction.
Women Making Waves in the Construction Industry
Despite being a male-dominated industry, contractors and other construction professionals are more than happy to welcome women to the project site. With a startling labor shortage and low rate of productivity chipping away at profits, the construction industry needs more skilled workers, not more male workers, to help combat the constantly growing pile of projects overburdening construction professionals. Although women only make up 9% of the industry’s workforce, some women are making names for themselves by taking a proactive approach to the challenges facing the construction industry. These women include:
- Katie Coulson: The Skanska USA Vice President has spent 24 years working in the construction industry in an array of roles including managing large projects from the field in the Pacific Northwest. She currently helps lead the Portland, Oregon chapter of the Skanska Women’s Network.
- Tamara Rivera: The first woman ever hired as a council representative for the New York City District Council of Carpenters has spent 24 years working in carpentry. She is also active in Sisters in the Brotherhood, an organization with goals that include getting more women involved in carpentry.
- Stacey Pray: The President and Founder of SHP Project Development has worked in healthcare construction project management for 23 years. Her inclusive workforce always maintains at least 50 percent women in her employ.
Running the Numbers on Women in Construction
Women account for 9 percent of construction industry employees, and nearly half of those positions are located in offices. In 2015, women working in construction made up 1.3 percent of the entire U.S. workforce. Construction is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy and employs over 10 million people annually. According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women in the U.S. only earn 81.1 percent of what men make, but in the construction industry, women earn on average 95.7 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Women are already making great contributions to the construction industry. If more women get involved in construction, it could boost productivity and help fight the labor shortage.
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.