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News March 28, 2024

Recent survey shows change is needed regarding women in construction

Construction workforce management platform Lumber recently conducted a “She Builds Nation” survey, and results showed a need for change in the industry if companies expect women to help address the ongoing labor shortage, according to For Construction Pros.

Women make up 10% of the construction workforce, with 4% working onsite. Sixty-seven percent of women surveyed reported they integrated into the industry somewhat smoothly, and 72% said there were plenty of opportunities for them to advance. However, 67% of respondents were concerned about the lack of gender-friendly and maternity-friendly safety equipment, which keeps women from feeling safe and could discourage them from working in the industry.

“When discussing skilled tradeswomen, those onsite endure a unique set of challenges,” said Jennifer Todd, president of LMS General Contractors. “Women leave the construction field in part because they lack support at work. It’s not a construction issue; it’s a workplace culture issue. If the goal is to attract the next generation, the construction industry must shift from being project-centered to people-centered.”

Safety equipment is crucial, but many companies are not supplying gender-specific equipment or maternity equipment. If safety gear does not fit a worker properly, there is a greater risk of injury on the job site. Additionally, women typically must share a portable toilet with everyone on the job site, and women require things men do not necessarily require.

When responding about topics such as opportunities for career growth, equal pay, support systems, and attracting and retaining talent, those surveyed were relatively split regarding whether they agreed; this reflects how some companies are working to successfully incorporate women into the workforce while others are not addressing issues.


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