‘Opportunity for the Future’ of Residential Construction

September 12th, 2022 by Travis Rains

Many companies, including JELD-WEN with its Women’s Network, are taking note of the opportunities available by increasing the number of women in the workforce. Faced with labor shortages, it’s no secret that the industry is looking to bolster its workforce by tapping into a previously untapped employee market.

The National Association of Home Builders kicked off Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week on Monday, Sept. 12 with a theme of supporting the next generation of the residential construction workforce. NAHB Professional Women in Building Week showcases the achievements of women across all facets of the industry and associated efforts to promote, train, advance and bring more women into the field. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from March 2022, women account for less than 11% of construction workers.

However, with the industry facing labor shortages stemming from a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are looking to combat those shortages by tapping into a previously untapped employee market. According to the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the number of women in the industry is rising, albeit slowly. For example, women accounted for 10.3% of construction employment in 2019, with that figure rising to nearly 11% in recent years.

“As the construction skilled labor shortage remains a key challenge, adding new workers is an important goal of the industry,” HBI writes in its report. “Bringing additional women into the construction labor force represents a potential opportunity for the future.”

Numerous seminars celebrating women in the residential construction industry are scheduled through Friday, Sept. 16. The annual event began Monday with a discussion on sparking the interest of younger generations when it comes to a career in the trades. “Tradeswomen Tuesday” will see women in the field discuss the status of women in the industry. They will also address increasing the number of women in the trades and ways businesses can be allies to women in the field.

PWB Councils are then encouraged to highlight women making an impact on the industry on Wednesday, Sept. 14., and women leaders within their respective councils on Thursday, Sept. 15. A discussion on promoting diversity in the workplace is also on the docket for Thursday.

Professional Women in Building Week concludes Friday with a general celebration of PWB Councils and their members.

For more information or to get involved, see the Professional Women in Building Week webpage.

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