This year, we celebrate the 24th annual Women in Construction week, March 6 – 12, 2022. Women in Construction Week was created to amplify the success of women in the construction industry and call attention to the diverse, high-quality job opportunities available to women in construction.
“Construction is a great place for women to develop a career because there’s not many of us out here, and we can make a great impact. There are lots of opportunities for us, from operating in the field as an operator, laborer, or in the office as an engineer, or an accountant or a Project Manager.” – Kelsey Moore, Project Controls Engineer
Kelsey Moore, Project Controls Engineer
The pandemic had a tremendous impact on female employment. Many women, particularly those with children, were pushed out of their jobs or forced to cut back on their hours to care for family members. However, over the past two years, the number of women employed in traditionally male-dominated fields such as construction has risen for the first time in almost a decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
President Biden’s $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Law will funnel billions of dollars to state and local governments to rebuild roads, bridges, and transit systems resulting in millions of jobs. This year, new construction industry jobs are expected to grow by nearly 2 million.
The earning potential for women in construction far exceeds other industries. Women in construction currently earn on average 99.1% of what their male counterparts make while the national average for other industries in the U.S. is approximately 81.1% of what men take home. Additionally, research shows that gender diversity in companies is associated with increased profitability and innovation. Initiatives to improve women’s recruitment and retention in skilled construction jobs are critically important to help meet labor needs, rebuild the economy, and revive the middle-class post-pandemic.
Nationally recognized groups like the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS), and Tradeswomen, Inc. provide training, mentorship, and networking opportunities for women in the construction industry.
As part of The Rebuild SoCal Partnership’s ongoing series focusing on Women in Construction, we interviewed Renée Gadberry, Curriculum Inspector Instructor and Female Outreach for Operating Engineers Training Trust (OETT) Local 12, who speaks about the challenges and opportunities women in the construction industry face.
We also spoke with Julia Padilla, journeywoman with Labor Union Local 89, who works on the $250 million North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program, who talks about feeling rewarded by her job and building strong bonds with other women in the field.
Rebuild SoCal Partnership celebrates women in the industry. Learn more about Women in Construction in SoCal, stay updated by signing up to the Rebuild SoCal Partnership newsletter, listen to The Rebuild SoCal Zone podcast, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.