Recognizing, Recruiting, and Retaining Women in the Construction Industry

Recognizing, Recruiting, and Retaining Women in the Construction Industry

Honoring the vital contributions of women in the construction field

As our industry celebrates National Women in Construction Week (March 5-11, 2023), Varco Pruden is proud to pay homage to the history of women in construction and showcase their many contributions to the field. We’re highlighting the increasing number of opportunities available to women across the industry and celebrating positive strides made in recent years to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for women in construction. We’re also sharing helpful tips for employers looking to recruit and retain women into the building and construction industry.

A growing need for women in the industry

Women are more essential to the business of building than ever—especially as overall employment in the construction sector is projected to grow 5% by 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Burgeoning opportunities within the construction field represent an estimated 1.5 million jobs that will need to be filled this year alone, and women are gravitating to trade professions in increasing numbers. In 2021, women accounted for 11% of the construction workforcean increase of 133,000 jobs over the span of three years. From active job site engagement to blueprint creation and project budgeting, women are standing out in the field for their intellect, loyalty, and exceptional problem-solving skills, elevating the work environment with their capacity for both manual and mental labor.

An evolving—and highly satisfying—career

Recent studies also show that the environment for women in construction is rapidly improving as personal attitudes evolve and national entities work to cultivate an embraceable culture. The 2022 Levelset Women in Construction report depicts a bright future for women in the industry, with 76% of survey respondents—up from 70% in 2021—asserting that the construction industry is changing for the better. An impressive 80% of women in construction reported that they love their job, citing opportunities for advancement, networking, and training among the reasons. Other job satisfiers included flexible hours, opportunities for project variety and to exercise creativity, and the pride of contributing to the building process from start to finish.

Creating a welcoming environment for women in the field

As organizations like Power Up, Inc. and the National Association of Women in Construction—founded in 1953 by 16 women in the industry and today comprising 115+ chapters nationwide—work to increase visibility, improve equity and expose young women to careers in construction, companies are likely to see a rising number of female applicants for roles from leadership to trade professions. To better position your business to recruit and retain women workers, take advantage of these tips to engage this vital and largely untapped workforce:

  • Offer mentorship opportunities for young women interested in construction and provide compensated opportunities for female workers to serve as mentors.
  • Coach your recruiters to educate prospective workers on trade-specific and industry-related positions that might fit their skillset, including tile masonry, safety management, welding, carpentry, building inspection, and electrical work.
  • Establish support groups and/or professional networks for female employees.
  • Provide secure changing facilities, properly equipped restrooms, and a range of tools to fit all body types.
  • Direct young women interested in construction toward women-centric scholarship programs, like the NAWIC Founder’s Scholarship.
  • Emphasize career benefits to women in construction, from the job satisfiers noted above to the industry’s low pay gap (NAWIC reports that women in construction jobs earn 99.1% of their male counterpart’s income, compared to an average 81.1% pay gap across all U.S. industries)

Empowering women to build a better world

Beyond the opportunities for economic growth, job security, career advancement, and schedule flexibility, women deserve to play an equal—and substantive—role in creating the physical world they inhabit. Varco Pruden is committed to providing meaningful employment access for women in our organization and partnering with businesses that share our values of empowerment and inclusion. We are proud to recognize the countless women making an impact in our business and across the construction industry this week and every week.

If you’re interested in a meaningful career with Varco Pruden, view our current job openings here.