Most Americans are well of the “glass ceiling” and pay disparity for women workers, but in construction these workplace barriers appear to be even more pronounced. In the U.S., only 9% of construction workers are women, a strikingly small percentage compared to the 47% average in other industries. This may not be surprising considering the heavy lifting that comes to mind when thinking of construction. Although, with female veterans stepping into fill the role of pipe fitters even this view is being challenged. Beyond physical labor there’s a rich job market that employs architects, engineering, project managers, facilities managers, and increasingly software and IT professionals.
Facts and Figures
From 2007-10, the construction industry saw a sharp decline in the amount of women construction workers with a loss of 2.5 million jobs. Since the housing crisis the numbers In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that out of 9,813,000 people working in the construction industry only 872,000 or 8.9%, were women.
Key Players in an Evolving Industry
But the construction industry isn’t only concerned with hammers and nails anymore. Tech in construction has broadened the possibilities of the types of jobs the industry can provide. The rise of construction software and apps has opened new doors for women in the industry in both technology and contracting.
Take industry IT veteran Carol Hagen. She spent decades in the male-dominated IT field and has since become one of the premiere consultant and tech trainers for the industry, specializing in architecture, engineering, and construction technology.
On the development side, we have Prachee Rajvanshi, a project manager for SKYSITE, a construction project management software. Her unique perspective and management skills helped turn SKYSITE into robust document management solution for project and facilities managers.
The Rule, Not the Exception
These two women aren’t exceptions. The data supports why women find success in the industry and why it needs their fresh voices more than ever. Companies with women, who hold top leadership positions, do better when compared to their male counterparts. Greater returns on capital has been recorded at companies with women on their board of directors. The numbers show that leadership qualities required for a business to find success are equally as present in women as men.