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3 ways to attract women to construction

Posted by James Hawley, Executive Vice President, Hays USA on Friday, Apr 1, 2016

CAEST SquareThe country is facing a critical shortage in construction professionals at all levels, but just nine per cent of construction roles are held by women.

At the moment, many construction hiring managers are only accessing half the labor market. If construction is going to continue to thrive we need to be tapping into the full available talent pool, including currently under-represented groups.

How can you find the talent you need for long-term success?

1. Send the right message
Make it clear in job ads that women are welcome to apply, include photos that show women in the positions and think about the wording you use, such as tradesperson instead of tradesman.

Hear from Professional Women in Construction on diverse hiring best practices.

2. Have good policies and practices in place
Construction roles can have a reputation for being male-centric and for normalizing behavior that is challenging for women. Review your harassment policies and practices to ensure that when women join your team they feel comfortable, welcome, and able to do their best work. Beyond harassment, good parental support policies are good for all staff but often especially important to women who still take on most of the family responsibilities.

3. Start a conversation
When you're talking to peers, training organizations or industry groups talk about tapping into talent pools that you don't have currently access. When colleges talk to high school students about careers are they ensuring women feel like these are options for them as well? Are industry groups using inclusive pictures and language? If the industry overall can bring more women into these roles they open a new talent pool that will help reduce long term shortages.

Attracting and retaining women and other marginalized groups to the industry could be both an immediate and long-term way to reduce skills shortages, but it will require a culture shift and proactive outreach.

Are you looking for your next opportunity? View the opportunities below, or search for jobs in your area. 

Job TitleLocationJob ID
Project ManagerChicago1009578
Civil General SuperintendentHouston1009773
Construction ManagerWashington DC1009286
Civil Project ManagerDallas1009784
Senior EstimatorNew York City1009846
Junior EstimatorWhite Plains1009580


Talk to James Hawley, Hays EVP, about the US Construction market.

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