As Women in Construction week comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing progress of recognition of women in the industry.
National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) launched the idea of Women in Construction week a few years ago as a way to bring visibility to women working in construction. WIC week supports NAWIC’s core purpose: “To enhance the success of women in the construction industry.” In the early years WIC week was mainly promoted and supported by the more than 100 local NAWIC chapters across the US. Today, WIC week is celebrated by just about everyone in the industry.
Less than 5 years ago, it would be rare to see a LinkedIn post from anyone other than NAWIC acknowledging WIC week. Wow, have times changed. This week LinkedIn and Facebook were flooded with social media posts from some of the largest General Contractors in the US, such as The Walsh Group, Mortenson, Gilbane, Barton Malow and more highlighting the women who work in their organizations with photos, personal success stories and testimonials. And it wasn’t just large contractors, regional mid-size general contractors, specialty contractors and suppliers all showcased the women in their organizations. Partner associations such as ABC and AGC added their considerable social media presence to the mix as well as companies such as Procore. And all NAWIC chapters stepped up their game this year with great events celebrating all week long. Here in Chicago, our NAWIC chapter hosted a Camp NAWIC Fundraiser and Networking event that attracted more than 225 industry professionals, our biggest turnout to date.
Why is this so important? Because there is so much opportunity in the industry, yet women only comprise 9% of the construction workforce. The looming labor shortage in the industry makes it imperative that we find a way to attract and retain women. Highlighting the success of women across many aspects of the industry is a great way to start. Continued efforts to encourage girls high school age and younger are vital as well. NCCER’s Build Your Future campaign, Camp NAWIC and MAGIC Camp and Women in Trades outreach activities are all working to ensure the next generation sees a career in construction as a viable option.
Let’s continue to celebrate the amazing women who build!
If your organization is interested in learning more about how to attract and retain women in the construction industry, contact us today.