Construction is traditionally a male-dominated field, but that the industry continues to be shaped and redefined. Many women have stepped into the structural stage, especially in bridge construction. According to statistics from the National Association of Women in Construction, about 10.9% of the U.S. construction workforce are women as of 2022. This number has increased over the last decades, with just around 2.4% of construction trade workers being women in 2002.
Construction Now and in the Future
Anyone can bring a unique expertise to the construction industry. Project management and engineering are important skills, as well as a passion for designing infrastructure that shows dedication to the craft and a love for creating beauty in our world. While construction is often seen as an industry where men excel, women engineers and architects have made significant contributions to the field, including using their skills to create many iconic bridges.
Success in construction requires more than technical expertise. Construction leaders can foster an inclusive work environment where creativity and innovation can flourish. Workers and managers in the construction field today can inspire young minds to seek out careers in and expand the construction industry for future generations. Diversity in all work industries is important, but construction remains one where everyone can encourage and support others.
A Female Perspective
April James, the CEO of Nature Bridges, has been in construction for 30 years. After a college professor recognized her aptitude for construction, she began working as a draftsman in a small construction firm. Drafting led to assisting in estimating projects, and then to becoming a field superintendent. As a woman in the field, April knows that fresh eyes bring passion, skills, experience, and vision to the industry. Throughout her years in construction, she’s seen the number of women in the field grow in trades, construction management, and even owners and operators of construction companies.
April is just one person in the construction industry, but she has recognized the growth of diversity and what it can bring to construction and other fields. Her advice to anyone with a vision of success in construction is to learn as much as possible from experienced construction workers and leaders. This, along with learning more about cash flow management and employee retention, can help you look forward to a thriving career.
As April and others can attest, a career in construction is hard work, but it is incredibly rewarding. There are no limits to what you can do if you learn everything you can, plan ahead, and concentrate on honing your craft.
As always, let us know if April and the Nature Bridges crew can help you create stunning boardwalks, bridges, and other structures that you and your community can enjoy for years to come.