Publication | ThinkSet
We Need More Women in Construction. Here’s Why
Labor shortages are hurting construction. Attracting and retaining more women can help.
When I was twenty-seven-years old, I fulfilled a professional goal of mine by becoming a project manager for a general contracting company. This was in the late 1980s, and for a woman to take on this role was viewed as untenable. It wasn’t until more than a decade in the field that I began encountering other women in these roles, and there were very few.
Fortunately, things have changed. There has been a strong focus on transforming the male-dominated culture of the construction industry—and more women now work in the field than ever before. Even so, we only make up 11 percent of the industry’s workforce in the United States. A recent survey showed that nearly half of tradeswomen face gender discrimination and more than a quarter are frequently sexually harassed. Unfortunately, women are still stereotyped as better equipped for administrative roles.
All that represents a missed opportunity. Women bring communication and management styles that could be a boon to our industry. Attracting and retaining more women can also help address widespread labor shortages: 91 percent of construction firms report trouble filling open positions, slowing down sorely needed infrastructure projects.
BRG is committed to embracing a culture of diversity in all of our offices.