By Jessica Deleault, Account Manager – Northern NE
It is time to unlock some tremendous potential for your construction company! If the labor shortage that chokes the industry has an impact on your operations, you need to turn to women for help. The space is dominated by male employees, leaving out the female workforce that is capable of changing its future. The misconception that only men have the necessary construction skills and qualifications to fill a construction job leaves limited room for women in construction. Your organization has to overcome this mistaken impression and create the right environment to attract, retain and promote the construction career of female employees.
Change Your Rhetoric
According to studies, the percentage of female employees in the construction industry is extremely low compared to male employees. Very few companies are willing to welcome women in construction and give them opportunities for a construction career. Your company needs to demonstrate that it makes a difference. Make it a priority to hire the female candidates who have the construction skills you need and change your marketing narrative to highlight that effort. Remember that your goal is to keep your projects moving and deliver quality work and women can really help you get there.
Once you bring them in, you need to make sure that you train them to do the job correctly and safely. Regardless of its gender, your workforce needs to be able to use tools and equipment properly and they always have to wear the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). If possible, pair newly hired female employees with senior workers and make sure that training is frequent and that it covers all the necessary topics and concerns. Have women lead safety meetings and toolbox talks so that they gain more experience and they become more comfortable working in a male-dominant space.
Offer Career Growth
Would you work for a company that offers limited or no growth to your construction career? Most likely not. Similarly, there is the perception that women in construction have no room to excel and improve like men do. This turns them away from joining the construction industry that desperately needs new talent to address its increasing workforce demands. To overcome this challenge, your organization has to present the growth potential a female has when applying for your open positions. During the hiring process, be sure to elaborate on this potential and establish career growth programs that help you retain woman employees.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that work-life balance is a crucial factor for women in construction. It determines whether they will choose your company for their construction career over another. Perks such as flexible hours, maternity leave and financial support increase the retention rates for female employees. With that being said, your company needs to implement programs and offer benefits that intrigue women to join your workforce and stay with you for the long haul. They help promote your organization as a leader in work-life balance initiatives and portray you as a women-friendly employer.
Create a Culture
The construction industry is a space that teamwork is more than important. If your employees do not communicate and work together as a team, you don’t have many chances of success regardless of their construction skills. This becomes apparent when people of different gender work on the same jobsite. To increase productivity and keep your projects on track you need to cultivate a company culture of gender cooperation. Talk to current employees about the importance of women joining your organization and encourage respect and openness between the two genders. Build an environment that allows your personnel to grow their career regardless of their sex.
Key Takeaways for Women for the Future of Your Construction Company:
- Make it a priority to hire female employees
- Provide frequent training and the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Highlight the career opportunities women have at your company
- Offer benefits that allow for a work-life balance environment
- Cultivate a company culture of gender cooperation
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