Working in construction: A guide for women

Tara Callinan imageTara Callinan  •  

Women in Construction Week

According to the National Association of Women in Construction), there are 10 times the amount of men in construction as there are women. However, a recent study by the NAWIC found there were 939,000 women working in construction — the highest number on record since 2010. While this is only a fraction of the total workforce, it is still a step in the right direction for women and a reason to celebrate this week!

The focus of Women in Construction Week 2019, according to the NAWIC, is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry, and to emphasize the growing number of women with construction jobs.

Here at Fieldwire, we applaud those women as entering a male-dominated industry can be quite intimidating. We know this because many of the female employees at Fieldwire have prior construction experience. Hence why, we love sharing advice for women alike who are new to the industry or considering a career in construction.

Here are our top five tips for women in construction:

  1. Learn from the best. Surround yourself with people you admire so that you can absorb knowledge and ask lots of questions. Credibility and accuracy can really help when standing up for yourself and your ideas.

  2. Be confident in your knowledge. Don’t let the old-school construction workers talk down to you just because they’re not used to women being on the jobsite. Remember, you are equally as qualified as the men on your team.

  3. Never hesitate to ask questions at the risk of looking like you’re unsure of something. Being humble and curious will get you far! For example, ask the electrical foreman on a project about code requirements, materials, and inspections and you’ll end up having a more holistic view of the construction industry.

  4. Seek the skills you wish to acquire. Try to put yourself in situations where you can fill holes in your experience and expertise. This can involve shadowing meetings, or asking to take on certain projects and responsibilities. Sometimes, people can be overlooked for tasks because they’re not seen as likely candidates, so keep an eye on what you’d like to be doing and make it happen!

  5. Try to go on-site every day. It’s easy to get tunnel vision — burying yourself in RFIs and submittals, and just pushing through your paperwork. But try to take a step back and really understand what you’re building and how the team plans to build it. Lean in on foreman meetings, take daily site walks with your superintendent, and talk to your subcontractors (and not just the ones in the office). Being able to solve problems with first-hand knowledge, as well as technical skill, will make you an invaluable asset. Remember, hard work never goes unnoticed!

If you want to work for a company that values empowerment and gender equality, we encourage you to apply at Fieldwire — just follow this link to submit your application. There are various positions available in all departments across America and Europe! So, what are you waiting for?

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