Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your construction bond needs.
The Construction Labor Shortage
The current labor pool for construction jobs is too small to meet the demand for construction workers. With nearly twice as many job openings as people seeking employment in the construction industry, recruiting more women to meet that demand makes good sense simply from a numerical standpoint. It will take about 590,000 new construction workers to meet the demand anticipated for 2023. Women can certainly help to make up for the shortfall.
Benefits of Increasing Gender Diversity in Construction
The current labor shortage is only one of the reasons why it’s important to have more women in construction. There are other significant benefits.
Creativity and Innovation
Gender diversity adds another point of view to any discussion, which in turn increases creativity and innovation. Research has shown that groups that include women are better at collaborating and innovating than male-only groups.
Nature has given women an advantage when it comes to communicating. Research reported in Scientific American involved comparing images of male and female brains. The images showed that male brains have more connections within each hemisphere, while female brains have more connections between hemispheres. Although there are individual differences, in general, male brains appear to be better for motor skills and female brains for combining analytical and intuitive thinking. This gives women a natural advantage when it comes to understanding multiple viewpoints and communicating effectively. Effective communication is vitally important in construction, on the jobsite, and in the office.
Because of how the female brain is wired, women also tend to be better analytical thinkers than men. That gives women an advantage in evaluating information, solving problems, and making decisions, all of which are crucial in all aspects of construction. It has been suggested that women might have a faster reaction time and make better decisions in an emergency in the field. They may also have a biological advantage in responding to business challenges and in other construction management tasks as organizing and delegating.
Women in construction can be a powerful recruiting tool. When a construction company gains a reputation for gender diversity, it becomes more attractive not only to women but also to underrepresented minorities as a potential employer. Gender-diverse companies find it easier to fill job vacancies than companies perceived as male-dominated.
Although not specific to the construction industry, there is empirical evidence that gender diversity contributes to superior business performance. The Peterson Institute has found that businesses in the top 25% for gender diversity are almost 50% more likely than others to outperform the industry average. And a McKinsey study found that organizations with high gender diversity performed 15% better than competitors with a less gender-diverse workforce.
Construction companies with good gender diversity may find it easier to acquire new clients, particularly clients who value diversity. Many private companies make decisions about contractors and vendors based on their track record for hiring and promoting women and minorities.
Gender Diversity and Business Growth
As a construction company grows and prospers, its bonding needs increase. Qualifying for a bid bond, performance bond, and payment bond for a single project is one thing. But obtaining the same three construction bonds for multiple projects is another matter altogether. And there are a number of other construction bonds that could be required for any given project.
When applying for any construction bond, the surety’s underwriters consider the applicant’s industry experience, credit history, and financial strength and stability. The total bond amount that a surety bond company is willing to guarantee for a single construction company is known as the company’s bonding capacity. The company will need to increase its bonding capacity to take on additional work.
The most successful construction contractors have strong relationships with their surety bond providers and have worked hard to build their bonding capacity over time. It’s a lot like establishing a line of credit and seeing it increase periodically. A construction company’s bonding capacity is the amount that a surety is willing to put at risk by lending it to the contractor for the payment of valid bond claims. The best way to increase bonding capacity is to avoid incurring claims or, if they do occur, to repay the amount borrowed according to the terms of the surety bond agreement.
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