2023 Women in Construction Week
CG Schmidt recognizes the need to create and support pathways to careers in the construction industry for women. We acknowledge the accomplishments of women working in our industry, the progress we have made, collectively, to encourage diversity of thought and experiences, and we celebrate those who pave the way for today’s women in construction.
First hosted in 1998 by the National Association of Women in Construction, this year marks the 25th annual recognition of Women in Construction Week. Not only is this a time to amplify the achievements of women in the industry, but it is also a call for companies to closely analyze their values, culture and hiring strategies and evaluate the ways in which they may improve diverse recruitment and retention practices for women in the industry.
The construction industry remains male dominated. While the number of women employed in the construction industry has steadily increased since 2016, women still represent only 14.0% of the entire United States construction workforce as of August 2022—including office and non-field operations positions.1 This statistic creates challenges. For instance, perspectives tend to be narrow which limits innovation and diversity of experiences and talent pools are simply smaller due to the lack women representation. Ensuring employers reach, hire and retain diverse applicants is an industry-wide effort, and it starts with each of us.
To create an equitable and inclusive workforce, our industry must:
- Create company norms and cultural goals to increase interest of joining what may be perceived as an intimidating or foreign male-dominated field.
- Identify barriers such as a lack of childcare, parental leave or anti-discrimination policy and protection guidelines to increase access, visibility and desirability of construction roles for women.
- Develop pipeline and apprenticeship programs to encourage youth to consider a career in construction.
- Analyze hiring practices and include approaches that create opportunities for underrepresented, small and women owned businesses.
Likewise, creating a culture where women in the industry can draw on each other’s experiences to advance their own professional development is equally important. Recently, CG Schmidt formed Empower Hour, a committee of women who plan events, socials and networking opportunities to foster idea sharing and candid conversation, professional development and mentorship. This week, the group will join women across the southeastern Wisconsin construction industry to attend the Connecting to Build event and a variety of guided sessions catered to women in the field. Affinity groups such as these offer an inclusive environment of like-minded or experienced members and add value and space to ideate, empower and succeed.
Women in Construction Week serves as recognition and a reminder of the barriers women have overcome to establish themselves in their roles. CG Schmidt is honored to highlight the diverse perspectives, experiences and achievements of the women within our company who create space, provide visibility and pave the way for future generations of women in construction.
To kickoff 2023 Women in Construction Week, we asked employees to offer words that define their experience in the field and their hopes for these future generations. See their responses below.
Van Dam, Andrew. “Why Are Way More Women Suddenly Working in Construction?” The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Dec. 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/11/11/hispanic-women-construction-trades/.