A Woman’s Worth
July 11, 2014
General Construction is often associated with being “a man’s world”, however women are increasingly engaging themselves into the industry.
According to the Department of Labor, between 1985 and 2007, the percentage of women employed in the construction industry increased over 80%. However, shortly after, nearly 2.5 million construction jobs were cut causing the phrase in relation to construction “a man’s world” to be nearly true.
Of all industries, women hold the lowest percentage of employment in construction, at just 9%. As of 2011, there were approximately 800,000 women employed in construction and only a quarter of them were employed in production or physical labor.
Statistically, the small percentage that woman hold in construction can easily be thought of as a woman working in a man’s world. But just as men hold their own value, women have their worth as well. Being a woman in this industry, was at first a bit overwhelming literally being surrounded by all men. However, I realized early in my career that there are advantages of being one of a select few in the industry. Being one of the few, you are easily noticed and recognized, we stand out and most importantly, our tone is heard very clear.
Often times I found myself looking around the construction trailer during a subcontractor’s meeting, and thinking to myself “I am completely out numbered”. I found myself listening to men offering their opinions and suggestions pertaining to everyday construction issues and never offering the knowledge I had. However, as an employee of Massaro I quickly learned, gender has no bearing on what a person can offer. We are all individuals working in the same industry, and we all have our own experiences and knowledge. Being one in the same, but having different foundations can potentially help one another that has not experienced what you have. When I realized this, that overwhelming feeling went away. Despite gender in a predominantly male industry, I too have my own experiences and knowledge that someone else may benefit from, but unless it’s communicated, you’re selling the team short of potential solutions.