How Women Can Overcome Challenges to Working in Male-Dominated Industries Like Construction
Most people associated construction with male workers. The stereotypical image of a construction worker that comes to mind is a strong man, covered in soil, wearing a hard hat and vest. With more than 90%
of today’s construction workforce being male, that image is not entirely false.
It is hard to argue the fact that women have been significantly underrepresented in the construction industry. In current time, there are few industries that remain predominantly male. Other “traditional” male
industries include, first responders, military and law enforcement have worked diligently to welcome more women into their ranks, while construction has remained one of the few male-dominated fields. In other job categories, women, who currently make nearly half of the total working population, are well represented. However, only 9% of people employed in construction are women. But the reality is changing.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 1990 women made up less th
an 2% of the construction workforce. And in 1990, a higher percentage of women in the construction industry worked primarily in office and administration jobs.
Due to a labor shortage, women are now actively being recruited to become construction site managers, heavy equipment operators, skilled contractors and more. A recent report from National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) implied that with all types of construction workers being in high-demand, women are finding it easier to find a job, and are finding more employers looking to hire women.
While more women are becoming interested in a career in construction,
there’s no denying that the industry presents challenges. Not only are women outnumbered, women who do work in the industry are navigating through a world that has long been tailored to men’s needs and wants. While changes are being made, some aspects of the construction world may come as a surprise to some women. For instance, from the hard hat to something as simple as using the restroom, women in construction are going to encounter challenges.