Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 100

Civil
Civil | COMPANY NAME

By Lisa Minniti-Soska

Where Are the

Women
in Construction?
R

ecently, while out to dinner with
friends, I mentioned that I was
involved in an initiative with the
goal of enhancing the development
and retention of women accounting leaders
in our firm. I asked one of my friends, a
glazier, how many women he works with. He
responded that there were none. I turned to
my husband, who also works in the construction industry, and asked him how many
women he works with in the field. He, too,
responded none.
According to the Department of Labor's
(DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics, women
represent 46.8 percent of the workforce. So
where are all the women in construction and
how does the lack of women affect the future
of the industry? The same DOL statistics
show that a mere 9.1 percent of women in
the workforce participated in construction

100

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JULY/AUGUST 2017

in 2016 and the majority of these women worked in administrative
roles. While the number of women involved in other industries
continues to increase, the same growth is not seen in construction.

Hurdles from Childhood
There are a number of barriers to women interested in entering the
field. Starting from an early age, girls learn to perceive construction
as a male-only career choice. Young girls typically see their fathers,
uncles, brothers or other men participate as construction workers,
causing them to assume there is no place from them. However, the
increasing number of women in other male-dominated careers, such
as firefighters and police officers, tells us that this is not the only
obstacle that needs to be addressed.
Those that are interested in entering the industry can often
become deterred by the unfortunate shortage of female role models.
Even the women who have navigated through previous obstacles
often abandon their course because of gender bias and fear of being
scorned or discriminated against by colleagues or others in the field.
Particularly in fields requiring physical work, gender bias can
create a workplace culture that is dismissive of women's abilities,


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contruction Today - July/August 2017

Contents
Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - Cover1
Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - Cover2
Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 1
Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - Contents
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