Only about 10.3 percent of payroll employees in the New York City construction industry are women, ranking number 25 among big cities and falling below the national average of 13 percent. This number has remained relatively stagnant since the 1990s, according to a 2020 analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics Data. Women who work in construction are most likely to work in an office setting, but are less likely to hold roles related to finance, transportation, construction, extraction, and maintenance.
As our nation celebrates Women’s History Month, the construction industry is keenly aware that recruiting, hiring and advancing women must be a top priority in 2021 – and beyond.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on women – especially women of color – who lost more jobs overall than men during the resulting economic downturn. Construction offers a wide variety of opportunities for women to re-enter the workforce and build a successful career. While entering a male-dominated field may seem daunting, it is eminently doable. Here are some tips for women AND men to consider as they embark on a construction career.
Acquire New Skills
Before entering the industry, consider what training or certifications you may need to fulfill job responsibilities. Having new skills under your belt will not only help you perform tasks better, but it will also help you stand out among other candidates – and can lead to opportunities for career advancement.
Seek Advice from Other Women in the Field
While it’s true that construction continues to be dominated by men, a growing number of women have entered the industry. They have successfully navigated the challenges that you are now facing. Use them as a resource. Seek them out and ask for advice about how to overcome any hurdles you might be facing.
Reach Out to Workforce Partners
Organizations like Building Skills NY can help you navigate the process of finding a job in the competitive construction sector. We help tailor the job search to your unique set of skills – making it easier to build a career – and also assist you in obtaining the training and credentials necessary to advance.
Without a doubt, there is still a lot of ground to cover regarding gender equality in the construction industry, but it must still continue to be a top priority. Better inclusivity moving forward will ultimately improve workplace efficiency, equity, and the lives of millions of eligible workers.