Successful Women in Construction Management Roles
Guest Author: Sarah Clow
There is no denying that construction is a male-dominated industry. Throughout history, construction labor has always been viewed by the public and the industry itself as a “mans job.” However, the construction industry expands far beyond jobsites. There is a diverse range of important jobs involved in the construction industry aside from physical labor, and women have been spotted more frequently fulfilling all different types of management roles in construction.
There are many reasons why women are making a steady rise in the industry; for instance; a woman’s attention to detail, negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, organization, and more are just a few reasons why women have so much to offer to the benefit of the industry.
In cases of women who have publicized their work experience in the construction industry, in almost every scenario they speak of being underestimated at some point in their career; often more than once. Women in the industry have been assumed to hold lower positions such as assistants or secretaries upon first meeting male colleagues in the industry when they, in reality, hold very high management roles.
Despite the low expectations others may have when first meeting women in the construction industry, they have successfully broken down many barriers and proven their place in the field. Women in construction have proven their capabilities and gained the respect from many across the construction industry. However, there is still a huge gap in the male-majority industry, and women must go the extra mile to prove that they know what they’re doing.
Women have achieved great success in the construction industry, and more every year is shattering the glass ceiling enter management and ownership roles in construction. Our CEO at eSUB, Wendy Rogers, is a perfect example of how women can dominate in the construction industry. Mrs. Rogers uses her broad experiences in journalism, branding, marketing, construction, technology, and binds them all together to run a successful construction software company. Tracy Young is another CEO breaking barriers in the construction industry for women, who is the founder of a successful construction software company called PlanGrid.
When asked what the biggest challenge you must overcome in the construction industry as a woman, many responded that dominating male stereotypes and expectations was the greatest hurdle. The owner of Pacific Building, Inc., Beverly Kruskol, recommends to other women in the industry to overcome the male domination by not being intimidated by male colleagues who may underestimate a woman’s abilities. There is always the chance that a male colleague will question the accuracy of your work.
Not all women in the construction industry started in construction. The CEO of Get A Grip Inc., a kitchen, and bathroom resurfacing company, Sharon Dillard transitioned into construction from the fashion industry. You may think these two industries are in different realms of the spectrum but are they? Dillard has made her business a huge success by utilizing her fashion skills to market and brand her company. Newsletters, websites, marketing, and overall professionalism have set Dillard and her business on a booming path to success by applying what she learned from the fashion industry to the world of construction.
While some women have made a prominent place for themselves as leaders of this generation’s construction industry, you may be wondering about women and labor working on the construction site. Indeed, the percentage is small for women labor workers. However, the number is increasing. S&B Engineers and Constructors, Ltd., has implemented a women’s training program that has made massive strides for women in the field. The program produces a student-training process where women get hands on experience on the jobsite in pipe fitting training. The program provided jobs to female candidates who would work well in a construction environment, not only did this give trainees an opportunity for hourly wages and health care benefits; the program also boosted the diversity of workers in the field. The women who have completed the program have stayed in the construction industry, the results of the program were successful, and no production of the project was lost due to trainees. This program is just the beginning for new doors of opportunity for women in the construction; as women continue to break down barriers, their presence will continue to empower the construction industry.
The Rise of Women in the Construction Industry