Although women make up less than 15% of the construction industry workforce, the current labor shortage and one of the smallest gender pay gaps make a career in construction a promising opportunity for women.
The National Association of Women in Construction is the leading women’s construction association, with 118 chapters across the US, organized into 8 regions. The chapters are our boots on the ground, providing local events, meetings and resources for members. Each chapter is run by its own elected leadership and offers opportunities of particular interest to women builders in the area. Here are some of the perks of membership from our local chapters.
Networking and mentorship from local women leaders in construction
In life, the best support comes from those who know you well. The same holds true for women in construction. NAWIC chapters offer networking and mentorship opportunities from women who understand the local culture and environment and have experiences to share. There is power in connection.
Mercedes Gamor, currently the NAWIC Puget Sound Chapter 60 President and NAWIC Pacific Northwest Region DE&I Chair and Spring Forum 2024, said, “One thing that has surprised me in a positive way is how much my leadership team at Prime Electric is behind me; supporting me and encouraging me to be involved with NAWIC. None of the leadership had concerns over the time commitment or if it would affect my work performance. They all encouraged me to do so and had no hesitations. They know how important NAWIC is to the industry and has been excited for my journey in leadership. We have several employees who are a part of NAWIC and even have another chapter board member at our company!”
Professional development opportunities
NAWIC leads builders and builds leaders. Nationally, NAWIC offers an annual conference, regional conferences twice a year, and online learning opportunities, as well as certification courses offered through the NAWIC Education Foundation. On a chapter level, educational opportunities range from guest speakers at chapter meetings to lunch and learns to OSHA workshops and professional development classes. Here are a few upcoming chapter events:
- No. 1 of Rhode Island (NAWIC Chapter 52): October Members Meeting. Guest speaker Donna Rustigan Mac, Executive Communications Coach.
- Buffalo Niagara, NY (NAWIC Chapter 388): October Meeting. How Safe is Your Jobsite? United Rentals.
- South Central PA (NAWIC Chapter 386): November Meeting. Emotional Intelligence in Construction. Lisa Murray, Director, Human Capital Solutions.
- Montgomery, AL (NAWIC Chapter 267): October Meeting. How to Be Seen. Bea Forniss, Community Specialist, Goodwyn Mills Cawood.
- Atlanta, GA (NAWIC Chapter 49): Public Speaking-Learn the R.O.P.E.S. Mitch Savoie Hill, CPC (TEDx Speaker)
- Detroit, MI (NAWIC Chapter 183): Trauma 101: Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions. Brooke Miller, Founder and CEO of Honey for Moms.
- Houston, TX (NAWIC Chapter 3): CPR Certification Class.
- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (NAWIC Chapter 164): Minnesota OSHA Update. Nancy Zentgraf, MNOSHA.
- Twin Ports/Iron Range (NAWIC Chapter 392): Salary Negotiations Training. Laura Olson, Cirrus Aircraft.
Events to strengthen and unite a community of builders
Job site tours are popular events for many chapters. Others participate in local industry events. Chapters also join the NAWIC National celebration of WIC (Women in Construction) Week (*link*) by sponsoring programs promoting awareness of and opportunities for women in construction. This year marks the 25th anniversary of WIC Week, which was founded by NAWIC in 1998 and is now recognized nationally by the construction industry.
It’s not all about work, either. Book clubs, craft and self-help classes, golf tournaments, holiday parties, awards dinners, and family events are some of the social activities offered by local NAWIC chapters. Volunteer opportunities range from helping with the local food bank to partnering with an animal shelter for a fundraising event to hosting a construction camp for girls.
What does your local chapter have to offer?
Membership in our leading women’s construction association is open to any woman in the industry. Your closest chapter may not be the one you feel most at home with, so it’s okay to attend a few different meetings and see which in your area you enjoy the most.
Not close to a NAWIC chapter?
Of course, if there isn’t a chapter close to you, you can still receive the benefits of membership through NAWIC National. If you are a Member At-Large, you can attend chapter events; you just can’t vote in a chapter. It’s a great option for someone who may not live particularly close to a chapter or who travels a lot. You can choose to attend any chapter events that are convenient. Learn more about all of our membership opportunities (Active, Corporate, Associate, Student, Retired, At-Large, and International.)
The National Association of Women in Construction builds women leaders in construction. To learn more about how our women’s construction association supports women in the industry and inspire future women leaders in construction, contact us through social media or our website.