In the past, the construction industry may have been male-dominated, but with more and more women choosing to learn skilled trades, the industry’s gender stereotypes are being reconstructed.
Gender diversity in the industry is extremely low, at only 2.6%, the possibility of seeing a woman on the job site is rare. Also, this number includes women that work behind a desk in secretarial roles or in management positions.
So what can be done about this problem?
The majority of the problem stems from sexism that has become rooted in the industry. More than half of women that have entered the industry say that they have been treated worse than the men on the same job site. These sites and the employees have restricted resources for women because they were built around the idea that only men would be working there. Jobsite operators need to start building job sites with the understanding that women may work there alongside men.
The bigger challenge for women in the industry will be changing the perception for incoming, younger female workers that believe the industry is only for men. A lot of young people are unsure about what they want to do for their career and do not know the opportunities that can arise when they enter the construction industry. For an industry comprised of high-paying jobs that do not require a college degree, it isn’t the first industry that someone turns to in order to begin a career.
Seasoned female workers in the industry want to attract younger women to enter the industry by spearheading groups and organizations that cater to teaching young women the perks of working in construction. The industry needs to embrace the modern era and introduce apprenticeships and training opportunities for women.