In 2014 nearly 9 percent of people working in the construction industry were women. Considering the national pay gap of women earning on average 82 percent of what men make, in the construction industry women fare better--earning on average 93.4 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Women are a growing force in the construction industry. Click here for a list of some of the most influential women in residential construction.

Executive recruiters Bess Cadwell and Jacque Linaman with Arizona-based recruiting firm Govig & Associates have been placing construction industry leaders—both men and women--for decades. For national Women in Construction Week, they discuss how building companies are attracting top talent, how companies “disrupting” the norm are succeeding, and how women can break into and thrive in the construction industry.

Why is construction a good place for women workers?
In general, the construction industry offers something many women are looking for from their career—diversity. Diversity of projects, opportunities, colleagues and growth potential.

For women who want to be part of an exciting and growing industry with the ability to impact the future for women professionals, construction is a great place.

Working in a predominately male environment also means that for women who have a strong, motivated style, they won’t be judged or misunderstood with how they handle business and projects.

Opportunities in the industry often require qualities that are in line with the strengths of female professionals, including:
--Providing a professionally challenging opportunity
--Complex problem-solving needs
--Multi-tasking using a wide variety of skills
--Building and maintaining relationships
--Seeing a project through to completion

These reasons are why many women who enter the construction industry have found significant professional success in their careers. However, these are general observations from our experience working in the construction industry and don’t apply to all women or all women in the industry, but it is a good starting point.

What percentage of the industry’s jobs are filled by women?
In 2014, nearly 9 percent of the 9.8 million people working in the construction industry were women, according to National Association of Women in Construction.

What types of industry jobs do women most often fill?
The roles females typically fill in the industry tend to be more focused around project management, operations, and business development. We also still see a lot of women in the industry filing administrative roles like assistant or project coordinator.

Are companies specifically looking for women employees?
Some companies are looking specifically for women and other candidates who bring a new perspective to the industry. These companies and their leadership truly value the diversity that hiring women adds to their organization and recognize that women offer a significant compliment to the industry. To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, companies know they need a well-rounded team with the ideas and drive to be innovative.