The number of women entering the construction industry has grown, according to National Association of Women in Construction. No longer the preserve of men, the construction industry is seeing many women play vital roles in construction projects across the country.
Today, many women are majoring in construction administration, engineering and architecture in college so they can qualify for these and other high-paying construction-related jobs. It wasn't long ago that women weren't even accepted in such schools.
According to last year’s figures, women only made up about 10 percent of the construction industry workforce. This percentage hasn’t fluctuated for the last several years. Women occupied about 970,200 of the country's 9,702,000 construction jobs, according to Dede Hughes, executive vice president of the National Association of Women in Construction.
Yet the number of women in the construction industry has grown significantly in the last 10 to 15 years. While the percent remains small, any growth is worthy of note. At Otto Construction for example, 16 of the 107 people working there are women. This translates to nearly 15 percent. That includes two out of 13 project managers, several project engineers, a project estimator, controller, carpenter, skilled tradesworker, and others working in contract administration, business development, accounting and human resources.
Effects of More Women Working in Construction
As increasing numbers of women enter the construction trades, concerns about their health and safety are growing. In addition to the primary safety and health hazards faced by all construction workers, there are safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. With historically small percentage of females in the construction trades, safety and risk managers have not had to focus on issues specific to female workers. This new trend has forced progressive managers to proactively address these issues removing barriers of entry to women entering this field.
A quick review of your safety policies and employee manuals should reveal your ability to safely bring female workers into your company.