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Women in Construction…Discuss

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Arturo-Santiago-Blog
Not long ago, I was in a discussion with a colleague about young women with ambition. I was asked about how I advise and encourage my daughter (who is a senior in college) as she prepares to leave the world of academia and is in the process of formulating plans to achieve new goals as part of the work force. I tell my Lulu that she should find heroes, real or fictional. She should aspire to have the qualities she admires most about them. And then above all, she should try to be better than her heroes. Doing so might mean taking a road less traveled or an unconventional path. I tell her that there are no constraints on her when it comes to choosing a career, even if it means breaking societal norms.

In a recent op-ed in Curbed.com, Amanda Abrams says that “Women are the solution to the construction industry’s labor shortage.”

In her piece, Abrams says, “Currently, women make up less than 3 percent of the construction workforce, which includes the building trades—hands-on jobs like carpentry, bricklaying, and electrical work—as well as management. If twice as many women worked in the field, the industry’s labor shortage would, according to data available from the US Department of Labor, practically be wiped out.

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And finding a solution to the ongoing worker shortage is crucial. Due to immigration crackdowns, economic after-effects of the late-aughts recession, and a lack of interest on the part of millennials, the field is down by 275,000 workers. That’s affecting housing costs, at a time when the country is already suffering from rising housing prices. Soon, even more workers will be needed: National Association of Homebuilders economist Stephen Melman predicts growth of 4–5 percent in housing starts next year, and an increase in construction-labor positions to the tune of 12 percent between 2016 and 2026.

With gender disparities narrowing in industries across the board, figuring out how to get more women into construction seems like a no-brainer. But there are a number of hurdles that first have to be overcome.”

The first and most obvious hurdle to overcome is the outdated perception that construction is an industry that belongs to men. And since that’s been prevalent for so long, it’s created the problem of women not having a clear path into construction. The Real Deal, New York real estate news, recently put out a video titled, “Why It’s Tough for Women to Work in Construction, and How That Can Change.”

New lobbying, associations, and programs are being formed to recruit more women into the construction industry. There are some difficult discussions to be had in leveling this playing field, but I think that resolving the difficult issues can lead to a more prosperous industry as a whole.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below. GX_bug_web

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Comments

  1. Women in construction is a no brainer But…… women will have too learn to work with men and men will have too get over the, hey there’s a woman over there .And let’s face it, guys look at women and cause hey they are female and we do that. They also have a tendency to over help a gal, which can result in not getting their own job done. Been there done that. My aunt was a mining truck driver for years,and a sweeter person you couldn’t have met. But she said she set limits , be friendly, don’t be “bitchy “ and never work less than the laziest guy there. That was funny. Personally, the less physical jobs, like equipment operation,finish carpentry, and professions that require brain over brawn, go for it ladies. Most guys are good folk. So don’t sue over a wolf whistle or bad joke, don’t forget that as men, working with men, we do things as men, and what upsets you may not even register on our give a damn meter. Also, we don’t like being told we are beasts and potential rapists all the time by the media, gets us all suspicious and paranoid. Which makes us act unfriendly and defensive. As for upper management you have the same problem we do. An idiot who doesn’t know their stuff is just another idiot telling a man with 40 years of experience crap. Be my boss, female or male , I will respect you until I have no reason too. Oh, and ask for help, don’t demand it. Men are doers,problem solvers,we will try our best to help, but also expect others to try and figure things out too. Just remember, we are men, we deal with men,we do things as men. And have all our lives.

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