There are many stereotypes surrounding women and their work in the construction and trades industry. 

Many companies are aware of these stereotypes and are working hard to shift the portrayals and highlight women in the industry in documentaries. In a Gender Equality Documentary done by Narrative Marketing, they followed two construction executives and their employee as they shared their experiences working in the industry. 

Stigmas Across Generations  

The film discusses many different stigmas from people outside of the industry and the male construction workers. Construction executive Adrian Espin explains the changes he has seen throughout the different generations of workers. The younger generation is more accustomed to seeing women and a more diverse group of workers on site, but not as much for the older generation who have broken many of the stigmas they once had about women in construction once they see the value that they bring to the team.  

A Common Goal 

When training was discussed in the film they touched on misconceptions about training and gender roles on site. Espin states, “The skills needed in the construction industry are gender non-specific. The basic skills that you need are in everybody.” The industry is set for both genders because all workers are focused on a common goal that they work towards as a team, bringing everyone closer together.  

Building a Stronger Talent Pool 

Bringing women into the workforce and diversifying a team was the most important aspect to both construction executives to strengthen their teams. It’s necessary to include women in the industry because it creates a stronger and more advanced talent pool that executives look for when hiring workers.  

Targeting the Younger Generations  

The executives discussed targeting young women in college and high school. Targeting young women also comes with a few challenges when their parents who have their own perceptions about the construction and trades industry aren’t supportive of the career choice. Espin and Melisha Willington, another executive at the firm, shared messages to parents who could be watching and discussed how these stereotypes overshadow the numerous amounts of professional jobs that are onsite and in the office. 

Motherhood in the Industry  

Flexibility is another challenge that deter women from the industry and the film highlighted. Culturally women have been the primary care givers in their families and with the construction industry having a majority male population, flexibility for maternity and paternity leave is not often a priority. The documentary stressed the importance of allowing a smooth transition into motherhood and back into the workforce after the leave period and encouraged men to help with childcare by providing an appropriate paternity leave to help other women in the industry.   


Building Her Story  

In a short film on women in construction called Building Her Story, 16 women were interviewed about their experience working in the field and they share their advice and challenges they have learned throughout their career. They discussed how rewarding the career can be along with their achievements that create a spark of inspiration for women who are interested in a career in construction.  

Help from NAWIC 

NAWIC supports more than 5,500 members, working in the field or in the office and at all levels of experience. The organization provides networking, mentorship, leadership training, and construction education opportunities. There are more than 120 chapters across the US, and affiliates across the globe. Contact a chapter near you to learn more.