It's a (Wo)Man's World Too! Check Out These Insights from Our Recent "Women in the Industry" Webinar

May 7, 2019 Karli Langner

 

Discrimination, exclusion, pay differences, advancement opportunities, lack of role models – these are a few of the challenges that women face in the Construction industry. For many years, Construction has been a “man’s world,” but women are shattering the glass ceiling every day and exploring their passions in this space that “isn’t for them.”

Let’s take a look at a few statistics that I found on a blog posted by BigRentz:

Gender Discrimination

60% of gender discrimination victims in the workplace are female. This is a hard pill to swallow, but it is a reality for some companies. Women generally experience bullying and sometimes sexual harassment more than men in the industry do – especially if the female works on an actual jobsite rather than in administration.

Exclusion

8 out of 10 women feel left out at company social events. And why wouldn’t they? There's many biases that come into play when interacting with one another. As humans, we generally stick to our own social norms, and a female in the Construction industry historically hasn’t been the norm.

Gender Pay Gap

43% of organizations do not actively monitor gender pay gaps. I’ve spoken with a few women who work in the Construction space about this topic, and there’s several different reasons why this is the case. Here’s the reason that makes most sense to me: women are more reluctant to ask for what they want. Want a raise? Yes. Do you want to confront your boss and ask for it? Heck no. Most men, on the other hand; they aren’t as shy as most women are to make requests.

Advancement

When it comes to opportunities for advancement, 73% of women feel passed over for roles because of their gender. Here’s where human bias comes into play once again; think about it – if a certain position has always been filled by a male, it’s hard to train your brain to think of a female in that position. I’m guilty of this in my own place of work, and I work in the Corporate world. Our marketing team has been on the lookout for a new Multimedia Specialist, and in the past, the role has always been filled by a man. I had to stop and remember that a female can also be highly qualified for the position, but my brain automatically thinks a man should be behind the camera because that’s all that I’ve ever known. Imagine how much more severe these biases are in an industry dominated by men.

Role Models

It can be difficult for some to thrive in a new industry if they don’t have someone that they can relate to there to help inspire them. 47% of women in Construction have never worked with a female manager. It’s difficult to do your best work when you don’t have a role model to look up to. I’m lucky enough to have someone on my team that I look up to and go to for advice, and I can’t imagine what it’s like for some women, especially women who are new to the workforce, to perform at the best of their ability if they’re forced to rely only on their own experience to be successful.

In this webinar, we hear from Anne Ellis, CEO of Ellis Global and Executive Director of the Charles Pankow Foundation; Julie Garbini, Executive Director of the RMC Research & Education Foundation; and Tammy Presswood, President of Federal Materials Company on a few of these topics and more. These women are taking active steps through their thoughts and experiences to lead the charge in propelling the industry forward.

 

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