March is Women’s History Month, but the first full week of March is Women in Construction Week. This is an opportunity to highlight the women in a traditionally male-dominated field. According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women accounted for 10.9% of the entire construction workforce in 2022. This holiday is observed to appreciate the women who have taken the bold steps to enter this industry and also embolden those willing to make similar commitments. This year’s theme is ‘Many Paths, One Mission.” It honors the different journeys women have taken toward the same goal: strengthening and amplifying the success of women in the construction industry.
A Brief History
The National Association of Women in Construction was founded in 1953 by 16 women working in construction with the intention to be a network of support within the industry. Today, it has more than 115 chapters across the country and offers its members education, support, and networking to help advance their careers in construction, build technical skills, and become leaders. The stigma around women working in construction has diminished considerably and that, among other achievements, is accredited to the work of the NAWIC.
How to Celebrate Women in Construction Week
- Encourage women to explore construction opportunities.
There are many opportunities for women in construction today. Start by visiting local schools in your area to raise awareness about construction jobs. Show students that not all career pathways require you to be on the job site every day and share the variety of roles like project managers, business owners, or other leadership roles. Encourage the need for a more diverse workforce and how it can make a company stronger.
- Join an association for women in construction!
If you are a woman working in construction, joining an association like NAWIC is a chance to connect with like-minded women in your field and gain access to educational opportunities, local networking events, regional conferences, national meetings, and more. Find a chapter near you or apply here.
- Share ideas with your fellow workers.
One of the best ways to grow a more diverse and inclusive construction workforce is to highlight and share innovative ideas of the women within this industry. Consider sharing their stories on social media and make sure to use the hashtag #WomeninConstructionWeek. You never know who may be inspired by them.
The construction industry has come a long way in terms of diversity and inclusivity. Women in Construction Week is key to recognizing and commemorating a marginalized group within the construction industry and helps to pave the way for the future of construction.