To inspire women to pursue a career in construction, we must share our knowledge.
Women in various positions in construction can provide a wide variety of insight – what attracted them to the industry, how to overcome challenges, what motivates them and how this career can pave the way for a bright future.
From empowering women in the industry, these are a few tips for women in construction (and inspirational advice in general):
1. Build confidence, work hard.
“I always strive to inspire women in the industry to be strong and remain true to their values. Women who work hard and to the best of their abilities will be respected by their peers,” said Mittie Cannon, founder of POWER UP Inc.
There is a significant confidence gap between men and women, as women are more likely to underestimate their ability, talent and place in the workforce. Strengthening confidence on the job will enhance the personal belief that women bring value to a team.
The construction industry needs individuals who are willing to work hard and show a passion for their career. Finding ways to enhance knowledge and translate it to improving on-the-job work can solidify why you are an asset.
Actions speak louder than words. Let your strengths create opportunities and take them. With an increasing labor shortage, women may be the heroes the construction industry needs.
2. Join construction-focused groups.
Organizations, both large and small, provide tremendous resources for individuals looking to pursue a career in construction.
Nationally recognized groups such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Professional Women in Construction (PWC) provide mentorship, seminars, tips and networking opportunities for women entering the field.
Other notable associations include the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) or perhaps a local ABC Chapter.
3. View challenges as opportunities.
Women only account for 9 percent of the construction industry.
With men holding a significant number of leadership roles, it can be difficult to break down the barriers and enter a male-dominated industry.
“Don't let anyone get in your way or tell you that it's not possible because it is. Stick to your gut and go for it. If you feel it's right, then you can do it,” said Madison Jackson, graduate from LSU.
As a female in construction, there is opportunity to pave the way for future women in the industry. Apply for internal promotions, seek additional training and become a leader and voice for women looking to cement themselves in the field.
4. Stay up to date on the industry.
Women can stay on top of emerging innovations and current trends in the industry by reading blogs, magazines and books on a variety of different topics.
Platforms such as Build Your Future, Tradeswomen and Constructing Equality aim to highlight personal stories, tackle issues of diversity, promote scholarship opportunities and discuss what’s new in construction.
Knowledge is power.
5. Find a mentor (or be one).
“The more women we can recruit into the industry, the more of an impact we can make," said Ashley Rooker, electrical apprentice at Gaylor Electric.
Women in the industry can lay a solid foundation for those interested in pursuing a career in construction. Finding a close network of hard-working individuals that share similar interests and career goals can be gratifying.
Mentors can play an important role in both a personal and professional life. From insight on personal experiences to advice on how to succeed in the construction industry, they can be a valuable source of information and support.
As the saying goes, “empowered women empower women.”