Increasing Job Opportunities for Women in ConstructionSeptember 29, 2021
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Statistics, in 2020 women made up 10.8% of the construction workforce, up about 2% from the prior census. However, a survey results issued by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Safe Site Check In showed that opportunities for women in the construction industry are increasing.
The survey was completed by more than 700 women in construction, across both the private and public sectors, and in a variety of positions—from CEOs to architects to plumbers to welders and everything in between. As such, it provides a well-rounded look at the thoughts of women in the industry.
As shared by Becky Schultz from NAWIC, in an article for ForConstructionPros.com, “71% of respondents agree that opportunities for women in construction are increasing, while 28% believe they are about the same and only 1% reports the opportunities are decreasing.”
Not only are the opportunities increasing, shares NAWIC, the gender pay gap is substantially less than in other industries. NAWIC executive director Crissy Ingram shared that women in construction earn 0.9% less than their male counterparts, on average.
According to Pew Research, across the U.S. in 2020 women, on average, made 16% less than their male counterparts.
While the gender pay gap is substantially smaller in the construction industry, there are still concerns with equal treatment within the construction workplace, according to survey respondents.
“Survey participants were asked to rank employers on a scale of 1-100 in treating men and women equally,” says Schultz. “While more than half responded with a ranking of 80 or above, nearly a quarter of respondents assessed their employer at below the 60 mark.”
The survey also included questions about the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry, with 58% of respondents saying that they were able to work about the same number of hours during the pandemic as before. Almost a third surveyed indicated their hours had actually increased.
Within the construction industry, job growth is expected through 2029 at a faster than average rate ;than many other industries, across many positions from the construction laborer through the construction manager.
Construction management, in particular, has a much faster than average growth, projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook for Construction Managers.
With a median pay of nearly $100,000 and an estimated 40,400 positions to be added over the next 8 years, construction management is a great position for women interested in construction to consider.
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