March 5-11 is Women in Construction Week! Learn how to honor this event all year long.
What is Women in Construction Week?
Women in Construction Week is an annual event founded by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in 1998.
NAWIC launched Women in Construction Week to spread awareness about common issues affecting women working in a male-dominated industry. While in the past 25 years the field has come a long way, there are still barriers—including a significant pay gap—to overcome.
When is Women in Construction Week?
In 2023, Women in Construction Week is being held from March 5-11. This year’s theme is “Many Paths, One Mission”.
Women in Construction Week typically takes place in the first full week of March. Each year, NAWIC and other organizations provide free training and educational resources to help women in construction develop their professional skills and promote equality in the workplace.
2023 Women in Construction Week events
NAWIC hosts several learning events throughout Women in Construction week. Some of the events for 2023 include:
Tradeswomen Panel - March 2 at 1 p.m. CT
Hot Topic Panel - March 6 at 1 p.m. CT
Establish Balance & Avoid Burnout - March 9 at 12:30 p.m. CT
Visit the Women in Construction Week website to register for these webinars and find other free resources.
How to celebrate Women in Construction Week
Women in Construction Week reminds us that women still experience obstacles on a daily basis in our business. However, it’s important to remember that fostering an inclusive workplace environment is a constant, evolving goal.
Here’s how you can honor the spirit of the event all year long.
1. Review your hiring practices
Your business may practice inclusive hiring, but there’s always room for improvement. Examine your hiring process critically.
First, take a look at all your job descriptions. Make sure they include neutral, non-gendered language. For example, when listing job responsibilities, avoid pronouns like “he” or “him” and use a neutral phrase such as “the person in this position” or the specific job title instead.
When candidates apply, utilize blind review. Obscure the name and other personal details on each resume from the hiring manager, who can then focus solely on the candidate’s qualifications without unintentional bias. Some third-party organizations will provide this service for a minimal fee, or it can be handled internally by a designated staff member.
If there are currently no women in leadership roles in your company, consider recruiting more female candidates for your next open position or provide construction management training to women employees to help bridge the gap.
It should be obvious that businesses should also pay women employees fairly. Determine the salary range for an open position based on the job responsibilities before reviewing candidates and clearly communicate pay rates during the hiring process.
2. Consult women in construction
The best way to understand the issues affecting women in construction is to listen to the women themselves.
Read interviews with real women in construction, listen to female-led construction podcasts like Space to Build or Hazard Girls, or host a monthly meeting with your own employees to learn about their unique experiences.
Share any helpful resources you find with your employees as well.
3. Provide diversity training
Focused diversity and inclusion training teaches employees self assessment and communication skills. They’ll learn how to identify and resolve potential conflicts based on gender bias and other differences.
Construction companies should provide diversity training to all levels of employees, especially to their leadership teams. There are many different programs available online or in-person. Several organizations provide webinars and fact sheets at little to no cost during Women in Construction Week.
4. Provide mentorship opportunities
Providing mentorship opportunities for women in construction will help them organically progress their careers and build confidence. Establish a formal program that pairs less experienced members of your workforce with industry veterans who can help them grow their skill sets.
It’s important to include women in both mentee and mentor roles in your program.
5. Educate the next generation
Volunteer at career fairs at local schools and colleges to encourage more young women to enter the construction industry.
Welcoming young women to apply for apprenticeships or attend training programs shows that your business is an inclusive workplace that values their contributions.
Want to hear more from Raken?
Our digital reporting tools help construction companies of all sizes improve visibility and reduce risk