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Doing more for women in the construction industry

Mar 01, 2023

With the 2023 Women in Construction Week (WIC Week) arriving, it’s an important time to reflect on the status of women in the construction industry.

Keeping in mind this year’s WIC Week theme of “Many paths. One Mission,” it’s clear that while a strong foundation for women in construction has been built, there’s still more work that needs to be done.

What women can bring to construction

With the continued pressure of workforce shortages in construction, it’s important that firms engage a vital source of talent to advance the industry.

Many firms are in a position of having access and willingness to take on larger jobs, but lack the workers required to complete them. Despite this, women still only represent 4% of workers on job sites.

Women make up nearly half of the available labor on the market. If women aren’t being included in discussions about trade workers, then that’s half of the possible workforce being overlooked.

But apart from the need for more workers, there are also intangible benefits to increasing the number of women at firms.

In an industry historically dominated by men, women are needed to bring in a fresh perspective. Companies benefit from having different backgrounds, thought processes and dialogues present when making decisions.

In the field, this can be especially necessary. Women are still newer to these aspects of construction, so they’re able to question traditions and methods that may need to be updated and approach challenges differently. With diversity comes new ideas on how to improve your operation and compete more effectively.

How to engage women in your construction firm

If you want to include women in your firm, the key is to make your working environment feel welcome.

Women in leadership positions are already doing this work on a national level through organizations such as the National Association of Women in Construction, as well as within their own companies. But your firm can still do more.

To create a more inclusive environment, start with your messaging. Highlight the way that your business can provide women with opportunities to get to their ideal future career state.

It’s also important to set standards of behavior that are clearly communicated, and equally enforced, for all employees.

Part of that means equipping your employees with the knowledge they need to be good coworkers in a diverse environment. Provide company-wide training opportunities in areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion; unconscious bias; and sensitivity. Doing so will better help employees understand their individual responsibilities in creating a safe, welcoming and professional workplace for everyone.

It’s also important to focus on how you’re building up your current and next-generation leadership. A strong leadership development program can help ensure that your managers, supervisors and other leaders are fostering a better experience for historically underrepresented individuals.

Creating an inclusive environment will help you attract not only more women into your firm, but also diversity of all types.

How Wipfli can help

Wipfli is here to help support your construction firm its current challenges and future development. Our experienced consultants can offer guidance on anything from organizational performance to complicated tax regulations to digital transformation.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve more.

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Tina Nazier, MBA, CPC
Director, Strategic Alignment
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