Women in Construction Week
10 March, 2022
10 March, 2022
A lot of us seem to be hearing about Women in Construction Week for the first time, but the first celebration was declared back in 1960 by the mayor of Amarillo Texas. The National Association of Women in Construction started its own version of Women in Construction Week in 1998, and the organization itself, based in Fort Worth, Texas, dates to 1953 when most women in construction had secretarial or office jobs. Today the organization has 117 chapters and over 4,000 members.
Women in Construction Week is designed to highlight women as a visible component of the construction industry as well as raise awareness about the opportunities available for women who are or want to be construction workers. This year’s theme, “Envision Equity”, seeks to raise awareness of a wide range of roles in the construction industry that women enjoy.
Some of the sponsors of this year’s event are
- Associated General Contractors of America
- American Road and Transporation Builders Association
- Federal Highway Administratio
- American Society of Highway Engineers
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Various companies involved in the paint industry are marking the week as well. Stanley Tool, for example, is spending the week “sharing stories of some proud women in the trades and celebrating all of your hard work.” The lift company JLG Industries shared some words from a journeyman carpenter who spends most of her day in a lift.
IUPAT is also sharing stories of women in the trade.
The publication For Construction Pros reminds us that with the labor shortage throughout paint and construction, it’s important to consider women for more than one week this year, stating that women account for only one out of every 100 employees in the field. It suggests three ways to encourage more women to join your team.
An article on Workwear Guru reports that the number of women in the industry has nearly doubled since 1985, however only 16% of executive roles are held by women, and only 2% of CEOs are women. “The issue becomes troublesome considering that 45% of women indicated that the lack of women role models working in senior positions halted advancement in their careers,” the article said. Further, it stated, a higher percentage of women have reported discrimination than they did 15 years ago.
Many women have taken to TikTok to tell their stories and inspire other women to speak up about what they face as construction workers.
According to Guru Workwear, women have reported hearing the following:
Love the effort but women still belong in the kitchen, not a job site. You’re hot tho!”
“You’re a too pretty to be working on such a dirty job!”
“Rough hands aren’t sexy!”
They’ve also reported various types of bias:
“Constant questions of our abilities, people say things and treat us ways they would never treat a male contractor. When you call out mistakes some subs will try to turn it around on you!”
“If you see a woman in a hardware store, don’t ask her where her husband is or if she knows how to use a hammer!”
“Never a place to pee on site.”
The NAWIC’s many chapters sponsored events in their home cities to celebrate the week. Find out about this organization at www.nawic.org.
Check out our recent podcast and see the women in painting who have been represented in our Facebook post.
Female business owners share their strategies for making job listings and jobsites more attractive to women painters. Learn which considerations can make all the difference.