Women Answer Construction Roles Survey for WIC

MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2021

In celebration of Women in Construction Week last week, the National Association of Women in Construction and Safe Site Check In held a workforce survey where they asked more than 700 women about their roles in the industry, job opportunities and COVID-19.

According to the results, the survey participants represented all areas of the construction industry across private and public sectors, with job titles and roles including C-Suite executives (CEO, COO, CFO), vice presidents, business owners, administration, appraisers, architects, draftsman, engineers, estimators, inspectors, interior designers, project managers, roofers, safety officers, sales, and schedulers, among many others.

While 57% of participants reportedly work in the office, 40% work both in the office and field and 3% work solely in the field, additional participant information noted that:

  • 49% have been working in construction for 16 years or more;
  • 15% have been working in construction between 11-15 years;
  • 15% have been working in construction between 6-10 years; and
  • 21% have been working in construction for five years or less.

“Now is a great time for women to work in construction. There are more job opportunities across a variety of professional, trade and administration fields and the gender pay gap is significantly smaller. On average, women in construction earn 99.1% of their male colleagues,” said Crissy Ingram, Executive Director, NAWIC. 

The NAWIC has more than 115 chapters across the county and provides its members with education, support and networking opportunities as to better assist women in advancing their careers, building their technical skills and in leadership. All women working in construction are eligible for membership.

Key Survey Findings

In covering job opportunities for women, participants were asked if this aspect in the industry was on the rise, decreasing or about the same:

  • 71% believe opportunities are increasing;
  • 28% believe opportunities are the same; and
  • 1% believe opportunities are decreasing.

Following up with opportunities, women were also asked about equality in the workplace and to rank their employers from 1-100 on treating men and women equally:

  • 24% ranked their employer at 100;
  • 22% ranked their employer at 90 or above;
  • 13% ranked their employer between 80-89;
  • 11% ranked their employer between 70-79;
  • 6% ranked their employer between 60-69; and
  • 24% ranked their employer below 60.

Of course, across the industry, both men and women have seen effects take a toll on construction in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. On workload changes alone 32% of respondents reported that they were working more, while 58% reported to be working the same amount and 10% reported working fewer hours.

On the topic of whether they are concerned about contracting the virus while working, 70% answered “no” and the remaining 30% answered “yes.” Additionally, survey participants were given multiple choice options to a question regarding what COVID-19 safety protocols was their employer enforcing. Results included:

  • Staying home if you’re feeling sick: 96%;
  • Social distancing: 90%;
  • Frequent handwashing: 76%;
  • Health screenings: 44%;
  • Digital check in: 27%; and
  • Contact tracing: 16%.

Regarding what work life might be like after the pandemic, participants were also asked if they thought any COVID-19 protocols would stay and which ones. The top three responses were frequent handwashing at 75%, followed by digital check in and contact tracing, which remained at the same percentages as current protocols. Other protocols, like social distancing, health screenings and staying home if you’re sick are expected to plummet.

“We’re not surprised to see digital check-ins become part of post pandemic protocols. Originally developed for secure health screenings and private contact tracing, digital check in saves hours each day while eliminating paper-based processes,” said David Ward, CEO, Safe Site Check In. “Today, we’re seeing construction businesses use digital check in to assign tasks, locations, and supervisors to employees upon arrival, support facilities planning, and reconcile invoices with hours worked.”

Women in the Field

The NAWIC first designated March 6-12 in 2016 as the time to celebrate women who have established a career in the traditionally male-dominated industry. Along with its core mission of enhancing women’s success, NAWIC touts Women in Construction (WIC) Week as an opportunity to recognize the contributions women make to the success of projects in all facets of the industry.

NAWIC chapters across the nation have celebrated WIC Week with a wide variety of activities including, but not limited to, community service projects, jobsite tours, membership drives, children's activities, hands-on workshops, fundraisers and school programs.

At the end of 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it would continue to work with the National Association of Women in Construction to safeguard women workers in the building trades as part of a recently renewed alliance.

OSHA and NAWIC set up a five-year deal, aiming to protect the health and safety of women in the construction industry, focusing especially on personal protective equipment selection, sanitation and protection against intimidation and violence.

In December, construction management software company Procore Technologies, Inc., announced a partnership with the U.S. Minority Contractors Association, a nonprofit professional trade association of minority-owned and operated businesses.

Through Procore’s social impact arm, Procore.org, USMCA members will be able to receive free product training and educational resources, as well as a discounted buying program for the Procore platform.

"By partnering with Procore, a construction technology leader, we are empowering USMCA members to benefit from a host of resources that will give them a competitive edge,” said Larry S. Bullock, President and CEO of the USMCA. “Our members will be able to accelerate innovation with both new and existing clients. I’m excited about this partnership because it gives our members access to the latest and greatest construction technology and educational resources."

The company says that it aims to provide technology training to subcontractors, clients, and partners in order to make the overall process run smoothly, and that having everyone be knowledgeable about the platform reduces confusion and “enables stronger, more reliable communication between project teams.”


Tagged categories: Construction; Good Technical Practice; Health and safety; Industry surveys; Jobs; NA; National Association of Women in Construction; North America; Workers

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