In 2007 just days before Christmas, I accepted a position with a Cleveland-based construction company and began my passion for—and career in—the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry.
Design and construction are noble professions that deliver tangible results. There is a sense of pride when a successful project stands the test of time. This type of accomplishment is unmatched in most industries. It is a powerful differentiator that we neglected to promote within our communities, schools, and clubs. As a result, the industry is facing epic shortages of skilled workers at all levels.
Women in Construction
While construction is a historically male-dominated industry, it is vital to the industry’s long-term growth to build the pipeline that attracts more women to this great profession. This is where organizations like NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) play a crucial role. NAWIC generates awareness and promotes opportunities for women to build their careers in construction.
According to NAWIC, on average, women in the U.S. earn 81.1% of what men make. In contrast, women in construction occupations make 99.1% of men. There was only one other industry where the gender pay gap for women was lower than 10%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018).
Yes, we have improved the gender differential, confirmed by the 64% growth in the number of female-owned construction firms from 2014 to 2019. Yet, there is still room for women in the construction industry.
- As of 2019, only 13% of construction firms are female-owned.
- Women account for only 10% of construction industry employment.
- And, only 2.5% of those women are in the construction trades.
Add to the mix the shortages of skilled workers, and women’s opportunities to find their careers in the construction industry are greater than ever before. A quick look at NAWIC’s website shows 5,202 career opportunities for women in construction, including: preconstruction, estimators, controllers, supervisors, superintendents, project managers, auditors, engineers, schedulers, construction managers, administration, safety and inspections, drivers, construction foremen, educators, and many more.
In celebration of NAWIC’s Women in Construction Week (March 7-13, 2021), I tip my hard hat to all the women who have played a role in the built environment. I have met some amazing women in construction. I no longer work with some of these professionals but continue to feel connected to them; others I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with every day at The Austin Company. These women inspire me with their leadership and dedication to their craft. My passion continues.
To learn about opportunities for women in construction with The Austin Company, please visit our Careers page.