Women in construction still face major challenges within the industry

Women in construction have come along way, making strides in job opportunities, (almost) equitable pay, and acceptance in society and in the workplace. However, there are still major challenges that women construction workers face.

The number of women in construction is growing every day. Thanks to groups like NAWIC, women in construction can now find community, networking, and mentorship opportunities. But labor shortages and COVID-19 mitigation strategies have increased the feeling of isolation in the construction industry.

Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment continues to be a problem for women in construction and other industries. According to a recent report, almost a quarter face harassment on a frequent basis. In 2018, an ENR survey found that almost 60% of women in construction witnessed acts of harassment as well, making it a workplace culture issue as well.

Inadequate safety equipment
Safety equipment is not one-size-fits-all. Women, are at a particular risk when equipment does not adequately fit. This article from On-Site magazine explores why PPE for women construction workers needs to be more than just smaller versions of PPE designed for men.

Irregular schedules
Long days and Irregular schedules are commonplace in construction, where work is often affected by the weather, supply shortages, and work delays. However, women construction workers are disproportionately affected, particularly mothers of small children. This can be a barrier to entry into the field for many.

While there are still many challenges facing women in construction, the opportunities for a successful career in the industry have also increased. Through awareness and advocacy from organizations like NAWIC, working conditions for women in the industry are improving, too.

The National Association of Women in Construction builds female construction leaders.
The National Association of Women in Construction provides women construction workers of all experience levels with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, and public service. NAWIC has 118 chapters throughout the United States – and even has ties internationally. Membership is open to any women in construction throughout the industry. Connect with other women construction workers and find job opportunitieseducational materials and training resources to help build more confidence and develop leadership skills. Any women in construction interested in joining NAWIC can apply for membership by using either the online form or the downloadable application to fill out and mail in. Several membership options are available for flexible pricing and membership terms. To learn more about our work to unite construction women in the industry and inspire future female construction leaders through membership with NAWIC, contact us through social media, our website, or our “find a NAWIC chapter near you” tool.