Resources for women considering a construction management career
Almost one-third of the women working in the construction field are employed in management or professional roles. As the numbers of women working in this field has increased, so has the number of professional organizations geared specifically to women in construction.
Here’s a look at some of the organizations and conferences women in construction management can turn to for advice and mentorship.
Groundbreaking Women in Construction Conference
For the past 16 years, Engineering News-Record has held the Annual Groundbreaking Women in Construction (GWIC) conference. Last year, the event was sold out with nearly 700 people attending. The conference has been called a “catalyst for change to inspire women at all levels to develop their leadership skills, expand their influence and boost industry growth potential.”
This year’s conference takes place May 23-24, 2019 in San Francisco. The keynote speaker is Sally Helgesen, author of How Women Rise: Breaking the Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion or Job. The purpose of this conference is to bring together women in all aspects of construction—those working in the trades, in management, engineering and architecture so they can learn from experts and network.
National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
What started as Women in Construction in Fort Worth, Texas in 1953 has grown to be a national organization for women working in all aspects of the construction industry, providing professional development, education, networking, leadership training, and more.
According to the website for the Washington DC chapter of NAWIC, membership includes access to the following:
- Industry speakers
- Legislative / legal updates
- Career / job leads
- Mentoring opportunities
- Education of youth and support through scholarships
- Connection with other women in the industry
- Community outreach projects
- Liaison with other industry and professional associations
National Association of Black Women in Construction
The National Association of Black Women in Constructionhas nine local chapters in Florida, Georgia, New York, Michigan and Texas where members meet to exchange information, ideas and solutions. They also come to Washington D.C. for National Industry Day and take part in the National Congressional Black Caucus Reception.
They have a strong commitment to educate students and support Career and Industry days in numerous states. They also offer student memberships and collaborate with universities to place students in internships.
Professional Women in Construction
Like the other organizations listed above, Professional Women in ConstructionPWC is committed to support, advance and connect women and promote diversity within architecture, engineering, construction, and related industries. Their membership, however, also includes those in sectors that support the construction industry such as; law and accounting, insurance and bonding companies, banks and financial services, graphic designers, marketing specialists and more.
In addition to having educational events, PWC also has a robust job section with opportunities throughout the country.
Women Construction Owners & Executives
The mission of Women Construction Owners & Executives is to “provide a network of executive women in the construction industry for mentorship, peer-to-peer assistance, information and support.” Their membership consists of women from women-owned firms in the construction industry of all sizes plus executive women in policy making positions within some of the largest corporations in the country.
The organization advocates on Capitol Hill on issues such as equal access to federal contracting opportunities, support for expanding access to business financing and participation in Congressional hearings. Their annual Women Build America conference lets their members “meet, engage and join forces with business leaders, corporate executives, legislative and policy experts, as well as Congressional and Federal government officials.”
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