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Women in Construction Today
As of October 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14% of the 7.7 million people working in the U.S. construction industry were female. The number of women in construction is increasing every year. As the construction labor pool continues to shrink with the aging of the construction workforce and the number of young people entering the trades declines, employers increasingly are hiring female candidates. And more women are launching their own construction businesses, though relatively few of them have annual revenues in excess of $500,000.
Clearly, there is still plenty of room for growth for women in construction. Women with some construction experience are a valuable resource for bringing more women into the industry and helping them advance in their construction careers. Every year, Construction Dive selects from hundreds of nominees the women doing the most to elevate the industry and make it an attractive employment option for women. These are the Construction Champions helping reshape the industry by serving as mentors, teachers, role models, and advocates for other women.
The Selection Process
Women working in any capacity in the construction industry can nominate themselves or a colleague by completing a form on the Deep Dive website and writing an essay supporting the nomination. The 2023 nominations closed on February 10. The nominations will be reviewed by a panel of editors, and the names of those chosen as Construction Champions will be announced in the Deep Dive newsletter and featured on the Deep Dive website during Women in Construction Week.
2022 Construction Champions
Deep Dive names Construction Champions in categories such as: Mentors, Tradeswoman Leaders, Industry Veterans, Up-and-Coming Leaders, and Rising Stars. Here is what some of the 2022 Construction Champions had to say about why they have chosen to work in the construction industry:
- “I choose to work in construction because it is one of the few industries where you can visibly see the organization’s contribution to our community.”
- “I chose to work in construction due to the opportunities it afforded me with my engineering background. The needs in this industry are rapidly changing, and more specialty expertise is not only required, it is expected by our clients.”
- “Construction helped me discover my true passion and life’s calling – mentoring diverse team members and minority- and women-owned small businesses.”
- “I am thrilled to be able to showcase this industry to the next generation, especially those students that are from under-resourced, underrepresented communities.”
- “Despite construction being a male-dominated industry, it’s important to challenge myself and the status quo.”
- “I’ve dreamed of designing and building buildings ever since I was a child, and it’s humbling to be part of something that requires the collaboration of so many talented people.”
- “It is immensely satisfying to see a space built and know that you contributed towards it. On every project, there are always new challenges and something different to learn.”
- “Through the built environment we have the power to address a full range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues – we can foster community-building through sustainable cities, provide equitable jobs and economic growth along with positively impacting human health and well-being.”
- “I choose to work in construction because I want to be a role model for the millions of women and girls in the world. I want them to see someone like me succeeding and know that they too can have a successful, rewarding career in a male-populated industry.”
- “Construction is an intersection of my love of architecture, people and problem solving. What we do every day as construction professionals impacts how people live, move and work.”
- “It is OK to not go to a traditional school, we should be encouraging our children to pursue a career in what they love, not what they think their parents want them to love. If our children were encouraged to do something that they love regardless of their gender or what the occupation is, we would have our future workforce love what they do and perform at such a higher level.”
Building Bonding Capacity
One challenge for women who own construction firms is developing the bonding capacity needed to compete for most public works projects and many private large construction projects. To qualify for the necessary construction surety bonds at a favorable premium rate, they should make sure their personal finances are in order and document their experience in the construction industry, as surety bond underwriters will consider both.
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