There are Big Opportunities for Women in Construction
From truck driving to C-Suites, women are making inroads into nearly every industry. However, the construction industry is one area where this progress is lagging.
With fewer skilled workers entering the workforce than ever before, there’s never been a better time for women to consider careers in construction. Here’s why.
The Landscape Today Shows Great Opportunity for Women
Baby boomers are retiring in large numbers and stigmas associated with construction jobs are keeping the next generation from replacing them. This means the industry has been hit with a crippling talent drain at a time when construction spending is ramping up. In fact, according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), nearly 650,000 more workers are required — on top of regular hiring needs — to address the current labor gap in the construction industry.
Despite the desperate need for workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that women make up only 11% of the current construction workforce. Now, let’s contrast this with other sectors. Women accounted for 43% of the workforce in professional and business sectors, 29% in manufacturing and 25% in transportation and utilities.
It’s clear that when you compare the need for workers with the current lack of workforce diversification, there’s an excellent opportunity in construction for women who are looking to start or pursue alternative career paths.
Good Pay and Career Advancement Opportunities Await Women in the Construction Industry
Construction careers can offer strong starting salaries, job security and opportunities for advancement. For example, average full-time worker salaries can range from $49,000 for carpenters or welders to $68,500 for linemen and women. These are just averages, and construction wages are rising as contractors compete for available workers. Plus, here’s a fun fact, some skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen even make north of six-figure salaries as their career progresses!
Given the small number of women currently in the construction workforce, you may also find it surprising that the gender wage gap is actually much lower in construction than any other industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the gender pay gap was significantly smaller in construction, at 94.3%, compared to the average across industries where women earn just 81.5% of what their male counterparts make.
As a result, these middle-skilled construction jobs, which require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, can be an excellent way for women to support themselves and their families. That means spending less time and money on education and instead jumping right into a well-paying profession.
And here’s the best part about construction: there’s no shortage of career advancement opportunities. Whether you want to seek journey- or master-level status, or are interested in pursuing supervisory roles, there are abundant opportunities to advance your career — and your pay.
“Every day, I’m fortunate enough to see the impact women make in the construction industry as they transform lives and build the homes, businesses and vital infrastructure we all rely on,” said Jill Quinn, Executive Leader, PeopleReady Skilled Trades. “It’s these powerful women that allow me to confidently say that you have what it takes! If you are a woman considering working in the trades, I encourage you to explore the great opportunities the construction industry has to offer.”
Paving a Path Forward for Women in Construction
At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, our five key culture principles drive our success. One of those five principles is that We Stand Together. And here’s what that means, we value diversity, are fiercely committed to inclusion, and aspire to a culture where all people can advance and thrive.
We are ready to help connect more women with work in the construction industry.
If you’re a woman looking to start or further your career in construction, PeopleReady Skilled Trades can connect you with continuous opportunities to thrive. Take a look at our open positions – and if you find one of interest, reach out! We’d love to get you started on the job of your dreams.
If you own a business in the construction industry and are looking for tradeswomen or tradesmen for any upcoming projects, request workers today! We love helping businesses like yours find the qualified, reliable workers you need to meet project demands.