Women at Work: Shaping the Future of Construction


Women at Work: Shaping the Future of Construction

It is no secret that the construction industry is overwhelmingly male. Even with a favorable shift over recent years, only 10.8% are construction women. This small number is astonishing, considering that construction is today's world's largest industry.

Such a disparity matters. By neglecting gender diversity, these companies ignore an enormous opportunity for improvement and fail to prepare themselves for a significant shift in the labor market.

The coming labor shortage

More than 1 in 5 construction workers are 55 or older. That means many skilled, experienced workers are heading into retirement. This mass retirement period will exasperate an existing labor shortage of construction employment. Despite recent growth, about 501,000 workers are still needed. Tapping into underutilized talent pools, including women, is essential to mitigate this shortage.

Why aren't women getting involved in construction?

Despite the clear advantages of gender diversity, construction women face significant barriers to entry and advancement in the industry. A survey revealed that 26.5% of respondents experienced high levels of harassment due to their gender, ranging from unfair treatment to discrimination and being overlooked for promotions. Nearly half of respondents felt they were treated differently from their male counterparts, contributing to an unsupportive workplace culture that deters women from pursuing construction careers.

Difficulties in finding childcare (69.3%) and a lack of pregnancy accommodations (63.4%) are also the top reasons construction women seriously consider leaving their jobs or deter them from working in the industry altogether.

 It's crucial for construction companies to eliminate these barriers. Creating a better environment for women will bring in the workforce and ensure that these employees remain satisfied with your company. This improved gender diversity will also reap lasting rewards for your company.

The Advantages of Gender Diversity

By bringing more construction women into the workforce, you expand your talent pool and introduce a more excellent range of perspectives that can improve your services. Having women on your executive staff can also significantly impact your profits, as companies with high gender diversity are 25 more likely to have high profitability than other companies. In such a competitive industry as construction, this difference can't be ignored.

Prepare for the Future

The labor market in construction is changing, and the shortage is expected to become more extreme in the coming years. The industry can mitigate this shortage – if not avert it entirely – by opening its doors to the other half of the world's population. By addressing the barriers to construction women in the workforce, particularly the harassment they experience and the lack of support for their health needs, you can bring in a group that's capable of the labor and innovation of the administration of the construction industry.

That's a fact that Panel Built knows well.

Women make a difference at Panel Built

Panel Built would not have enjoyed the same success without its team of powerhouse construction women – whether in the office or at work on the manufacturing floor.

We owe a significant portion of our sales success to our women. Lynne Maniotes, a veteran salesperson, is responsible for 38 million in sales alone.

"The friends made over the years at Panel Built have supported me in my career and life. I have been able to be the best person I can be because of Panel Built friends, co-workers, and management", says Lynne.

Employees like Angie Vinez, an Inside Sales Manager, are also responsible for pushing our company forward with new ideas and opportunities. Angie proposed that Panel Built should start selling lactation pods, which would provide private spaces for mothers to breastfeed.

“I really wanted Panel Built to consider designing and selling lactation pods because as a mom, this is something that's important to me. When my children were small, there were no places to nurse them in public,” Angie said. “I can't tell you how many times I had run to a hot, stuffy car because there was nowhere else to go. Women deserve better, and if Panel Built could provide an affordable, private option, I wanted to help provide that. I love the simplicity of our lactation pods, and the pricing makes it so that even the smallest company can afford to take care of their working moms.”

Women on the floor also work hard to make sure top-quality products are put together and out the door as quickly as possible.  Janet Long in shipping works on our forklift, whether rain or shine, loading our products onto trucks. Likewise, our welding team, loading team, inventory team, and more all have women involved and helping.

We're thankful to have these incredible women with us, and we will continue to support a future of greater gender diversity in the construction industry.

Gender diversity is just one of our values as a company. For information on how our products can support women's needs, contact our team at 800.636.3873, email info@panelbuild.com, or talk to us using the LiveChat feature at the bottom right of your screen.

From modular offices to military tower systems, Panel Built has experience engineering, designing, and installing structures for various commercial, military, government, and industrial customers. Panel Built operates under one mission, "To Solve Our Customers' Space Needs With Excellence And Great Customer Service."