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Women in Construction: How to Thrive in a Male-Dominated Industry

There are still a few industries regarded as “male-dominated” in our country, and construction is most certainly one of them. Stereotypically, we have a mental picture of men taking their lunch break with the “guys” in a construction zone. Seldom do we picture women eating lunch with them.

However, construction doesn’t just happen alongside roads, and many women have found their way in the construction field. While the ratio of men to women is greater, more and more women are making careers in this industry.  

Can women really thrive in construction?

First thing is first: of course women can (and do) thrive in construction. Construction jobs are for everyone. Whether you want to work out on the field or in the office, the industry is looking for specialized knowledge. When looking for a job in construction, women can get their general contractor licenses just as easily as men do. And, depending on the general contractor licenses you are pursuing, a prep exam may be available at a training center nearby.

What should women who are seeking a career in construction know?

As a woman in construction, know that your skills and knowledge transcend gender. What you know and how well you do your work is key. You can get a job that is hands-on and get the experience you desire to be the best in your field. From paving to pouring concrete, the workforce needs workers, and women are underrepresented on this field.  

"Women in Construction: How to Thrive in a Male-Dominated Industry"

When you think about construction, don’t just think about the new updates to your town’s freeway. Think of every aspect of it. For example, careers like being an electrician, a carpenter or a plumber are great, and they don’t keep you behind a desk.

If being in management is what you desire, a career in construction could also mean being an inspector or project manager.

There may be discomfort

Because this is a male-dominated industry, you may find that men can take a minute to get used to the idea of a woman on the team, especially if she’s in charge. While this isn’t always the case, it can happen. Know that this is a possibility and that it may take a beat or two for your co-workers or employees to get used to it. Be confident and competent in your skills and remember that you chose this field. Allow time for others to warm up to you.

Find solidarity in other women

There are professional organizations for women in construction, such as The National Association for Women in Construction and other local organizations depending on your area. Meet with others to learn about the latest trends and collaborate according to your specific area.

Outreach to future generations

There are plenty of stories of women in the industry that got a helping hand from another woman, only to have their own company today. Whether you’re an established figure in the construction industry or just starting out, pay it forward. This is an industry in which the existing number of women can grow. Raise awareness and be don’t be afraid to be visible – you have the opportunity to set an example for future generations.

Know that you’re setting the tone for diversity in the workplace

As the world changes, more and more women are stepping into roles that were closed to them not too long ago. As a woman, take pride in pioneering diversity in the workforce. Next thing you know, there won’t be such a gender gap in this industry, and you can say that you helped build that bridge.

 

note: This is a Sponsored Post – the author has requested this post be shared on WE magazine for Women and WE were compensated for sharing.

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