Historically, women have been locked out of many professions, as society expected them to become homemakers rather than workers. Throughout the late 20th Century, second-wave feminism made massive advancements in women’s rights. This allowed us to join the workforce in greater numbers and today it is common to encounter female doctors, lawyers, and scientists. However, in spite of these advancements, today’s construction industry is still firmly male-dominated.
Common misconceptions and stereotypes – such as women not possessing the physical capacities to effectively carry out manual labor – have kept them out. However, there is certainly room for both genders in this industry. Females have the power to inspire growth and change in the industry. The varied needs of a female workforce will ensure that companies adapt to accommodate us, which can help advance impactful changes in the industry. Women can bring unique skillsets and points of view. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons why women should consider careers in this sector.
Diversity inspires and encourages growth
There are several things that can derail your career and historically in this industry simply being a woman was one of them. As we know, construction is a vocation that is heavily male-dominated. This gives females the opportunity to innovate practices within the industry. More women working in this sector can drive change and growth as they may approach working from a completely different angle.
A company will need to accommodate issues such as maternity leave and child-rearing into its strategies. Employees with children will need to work more flexible hours, as they likely will need to account for things like the school run or their children’s extracurricular activities. Although some businesses may initially see this as a downside, it may actually improve productivity. Because of their busy schedules during the week, moms who request flexible hours can work over the weekend. This may also help fathers in the labor force, as these allowances and levels of flexibility can be extended to men to allow them to spend more time with their children.
Construction in a great career for problem solvers
In spite of popular belief, in the construction sector, physical strength is not everything. Employees must also be highly effective at solving problems. The economic instability of today’s world has created a substantial number of issues for the industry, ranging from fuel costs to supply chain issues to labor shortages. We, as women, may be able to offer unique insights and points of view that can help sort out any of these kinks in the system.
Those who run a household will have a wealth of experience in efficient budgeting and planning. If a company is running into issues with its fleet management, these skills will be invaluable to them. If you take a course on fleet management, you can easily help eliminate inefficiencies and work to reduce operating costs by combining your management and home budgeting knowledge. Your skillsets can offer unique insights when it comes to streamlining operations and maximizing profits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the health of the workforce. The pandemic forced many companies to restructure and let employees go.
Now that we are coming out the other side, companies are finding it hard to rehire those who were initially let go. We are seeing one of the worst labor shortages in decades, and construction is being hit particularly hard. The building sector is currently under a huge amount of pressure. As the world seeks to combat an international housing crisis, laborers on building sites are in high demand. Adding female laborers to the construction workforce will provide much-needed support for this rising demand across the world. Once settled, those that work hard can easily climb the ladder within this industry and diversify their skills in project management, eCommerce, and marketing.
Access to higher education
Vocational industries are well-renowned for allowing their workforce easy access to higher education. It is in their best interest to educate their employees, as highly qualified workers attract high-paying customers.
You can ask your employer to fund your education since many companies will be willing to fund your access to higher education and will also allow you to work while pursuing your studies. This gives working-class women educational opportunities that their previous circumstances may have prevented them from accessing.
A career in construction: You can change perceptions and culture
As a woman in the construction sector, you are truly an innovator, as you are helping to break more of the restrictive gender roles seen in society today. Working in male-dominated spaces, you are helping to dispel stereotypes that women are weak or not interested in manual labor.
You could also be an inspiration to younger girls who want to join the industry but feel that they cannot because of their gender. Your presence in the industry will encourage more females to join, allowing for further diversity and growth. Mentorship is a highly rewarding job to take on and you could encounter a multitude of mentoring opportunities as a woman in the sector.