By Ellie Licari, Resource Manager
Time to make a difference! Even though the number of female professionals who entered the construction industry grew since the 80s, the percentage is really small when compared to other industries. From the jobsite to upper management, women are underrepresented. In a male dominated space, breaking ground as a woman in construction is not an easy task. The industry is in great need of construction skills and women are a great source of talent. Below we provide some tips to help you make a difference and boost your construction career.
Hold Your Own
You have decided to join a male dominated industry and that on its own is a challenge. Being a woman in construction raises the chances of being questioned about decisions you made or tasks that you performed. It is crucial to be confident about the knowledge and construction skills you have and to stand behind the calls that you make. Accept what you know and what you don’t and be sure to take responsibility. Demonstrating that you believe in yourself and you are sure about what you are doing builds credence towards your capabilities and earns trust from your teammates.
Voice Your Opinion
The construction industry is a volatile industry that asks for great responsiveness especially in the upper levels of management. As you grow your construction career and you climb the ladder of success, you will find yourself surrounded by men who sometimes claim to know the business better than you. Don’t let that hold you back. On the contrary, make a stand and voice your opinion even in the toughest situations. Keep in mind that if you want to succeed in a male-dominated industry you need make a sure that your thoughts are out there and you are not being ignored.
Know Your Field
The best way for a woman in construction to demonstrate the value that she brings to the table is to show that she has the construction skills and the industry knowledge to do the job. This can be accomplished through training and through keeping up with construction trends. When you have a deep understanding of your field, people recognize the valuable insight that you bring to the table. With that said, it is very important to key an eye on change and to make sure that your construction skills stay sharp. In addition, work on projects that add to your professional expertise.
Another way to lay a strong foundation for your construction career is to join associations that promote and support the advancement and employment of women in the construction industry. By doing so you join forces with professionals who have the same aspirations and face the same challenges as you do. In addition, you need to attend networking events and connect with other females in the industry. This way you are able to increase your professional opportunities and learn firsthand about industry developments.
Work with a Construction Recruiter
Given that women are underrepresented in the industry, you need to do your best to make sure that you are being represented as best as possible, especially when you are looking for new opportunities. Who is better to help you with that than a construction recruiter? They interact with construction companies on a daily basis and they have a deep insight into the needs of their clients. A construction staffing firm makes sure that your resume is not being put aside simply because you are a woman. Being your construction career advocates, they know your value and capabilities and they make sure to present them to hiring managers the way you would.
Key Takeaways to How to Break Ground as a Woman in Construction:
1. Be confident when it comes to your constructions skills and expertise
2. Don’t hesitate to voice your opinion
3. Have a deep understanding of your field to increase the value that you bring to the table
4. Network and join associations that promote and support women in construction
5. Work with a construction recruiter to present yourself in the best possible way
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com