For far too long, the construction business was thought to be more suited to men, but this has changed and continues to change, with construction being a viable option for everyone. Despite the gender gap in employment, some occupational functions and locations in the construction industry provide better prospects for women. In this article, we will take a brief look at the working condition of female construction workers and the outlook for women in this industry.

1. What percentage of construction workers are female?

The construction industry is changing for the better in many ways, especially as it embraces diversity and technology. Despite this, it remains one of the world’s most male-dominated sectors.

Women make up only 10.9% of the construction workforce. The number of women working on the front lines of a construction site is much smaller: only one out of every 100 workers. Given that women account for 47% of all working people, this indicates that the construction industry benefits from only approximately 1.25% of women in the workforce.

There are several reasons contributing to this massive gender disparity, including unconscious gender bias, a lack of proper training, and negative opinions of women working in construction. Despite these obstacles, women are forging ahead in the sector.

2. Job tasks and responsibilities female construction workers take

When it comes to a career, women have a variety of options regarding what they would like to specialize in. They can work in any construction-related position. However, the majority of women work in offices.

Female workers in construction
Duties of female workers in construction

Tradeswomen make up a modest percentage of the industry’s female workforce. This industry is split into two categories: residential and nonresidential. Heavy industrial, institutional and commercial, and engineering are the three subsectors of nonresidential work.

Though these specialties carry their own distinct set of responsibilities and required skills, there is some common ground. Each sector presents the opportunity for women to participate in eco-friendly projects and green building methods, hydro-electric projects, building state-of-the-art entertainment complexes, super bridges and more.

Female workers may be expected to complete some day-to-day tasks including  backfilling holes, pacing earth to prepare for site work, surveying equipment, operating jackhammers, and other chores.

Women with special training may be responsible for transporting and handle explosives, operate hydraulic boring machines to excavate tunnels, lay pipes with lasers, or control robotic pipe cutters with computers. Certified personnel may be required to remove lead, chemicals, or asbestos.

3. Women’s obstacles in the construction industry

Construction workers benefit from uniform hourly wages for men and women, but they also face other obstacles unique to the industry. While gender diversity is improving across the board, some issues remain. Female workers in construction sometimes receive less working hours than their male counterparts, according to female construction workers’ experiences.

There are also additional difficulties to address. Women’s professional clothing, as well as the equipment provided to them, is frequently ill-fitting. This will almost certainly increase the danger of injury on the job.

Construction job is also extremely physically demanding. Individuals are expected to work long hours, frequently in inconvenient work conditions, undertaking physical tasks. Construction debris and loud machines can exacerbate working conditions. Furthermore, layoffs and long periods of time between building projects are also regular occurrences for those working in the construction industry.

Another issue is that, traditionally, women with children have had to combine being a caregiver while also working. Office workers, however, can have more work flexibility thanks to technology, notably construction software.

>> Read more: Health and safety in construction environment

4. Female construction worker salary

Women in the construction business tend to earn a great pay, which is a significant advantage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, female construction workers earned 94.3 percent of a male worker’s weekly median pay in 2019. This works out to $862 for women and $914 for males, based on 2019 median weekly pay data. For other occupations, women on average made 81.5% what men made. Therefore, it can be seen that construction topped the list for the smallest gender wage gap. In other words, men and women in the construction industry report relatively equal pay.

female construction worker salary
The gender pay gap in construction is quite small

5. Job outlook for female workers in construction

Every year, the construction industry experiences a labor shortage. Women are now employed in a variety of tasks and responsibilities in the construction industry, ranging from trades to heavy machinery operations and construction management.

In certain areas, large construction companies collaborate with the local community to offer courses and boot camp programs for young girls and women interested in the industry. Many cities also offer apprenticeship programs that strive to recruit women, prepare them for exams and train them with job-specific skills.

6. How to become a female construction worker?

If working with males on an equal footing is what you want to do, then go for it. You must have self-assurance. Allow no one to doubt your ability simply because you are a woman. Don’t pay attention to them. Be persistent in order to show others and yourself that you are capable of executing the job you were hired to accomplish.

So now that you know there’s nothing physically preventing you from pursuing a profitable and rewarding career in construction, what’s next? Female construction workers hold a variety of positions. Some jobs require a college diploma, but many do not. You can take in some course to learn the essential knowledge and skills for the job you want to special in. If you’re not sure where to start in the construction sector, a construction-related training program will help you figure out which position is right for you.

>> Read also: How to become a construction worker

female construction worker
How to become a female construction worker?

More women are anticipated to work in the building trades than ever before as the industry grows and training opportunities expand. Gone are the days when this was considered a male-dominated field, with women limited to primarily administrative positions. As the society is changing, now female construction workers have more opportunities in the industry and they can enjoy variety of work. Women won’t have a hard time getting a job as long as they’re willing to start at the bottom and learn in the field or get a degree in project management.

Whether you are male or female,  you may face with many hidden risks when working on construction sites. Owning a CSCS card will show that show you are fully qualified to work safely on-site. So, practice with CSCS Online Test right now to prepare for CSCS exam and get qualified to work safely on construction sites.