women in construction statistics

15 Unconventional Women in Construction Statistics for 2020

By Blog

Construction has always been a male-dominated career path. Sadly, you can only find a handful of women in construction. If you do come across a few of them, there is a high likelihood they will be in administrative positions. 

However, the latest women in construction statistics actually show that women are breaking the mold in this male-dominated industry in spite of the barriers they face.

As the industry is expected to grow in the coming years, companies are now considering the contribution of women to help lower labor shortage in the industry and make it more inclusive for future generations.

Riveting Women in Construction Statistics (Editor’s Picks)

  • In the US, women make up 10% of the total number of workers in the construction industry. 
  • As many as 1,102,000 women were working in the construction industry in 2018.
  • 9% of women-owned construction firms generated over $500,000 of revenue, according to women in construction statistics 2019
  • 44 out of the top 100 construction firms have women in executive positions. 
  • There has been a 68% increase in women-owned construction firms between 2014 and 2019.
women in construction statistics

US Women in Construction Statistics

Being a woman is not easy in this male-dominated industry, but statistics show that powering through the obstacles has been paying off throughout the years.

1. Women make up 10% of the total number of workers in the construction industry. 

(BLS)

Of the 11,181,000 employees in the construction industry, 1,102,000 are women. Most of them work in office settings as opposed to construction sites.

However, the need for construction site employees is expected to rise in the coming years, and companies are now looking for women to fill more roles in construction. In 2020, women in construction statistics certainly look promising. 

2. Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of women in construction trades had the highest increase in 20 years. 

(IWPR)

The increase was recorded at 17.6%, which means that a total of 276,000 women started working in construction trades during that period. These jobs include painter, plumber, roofer, carpenter, or electrician.

This huge increase in hands-on jobs in construction was recorded to be five times more than the overall job growth in the industry, which was at 3.7%. 

3. Female construction workers statistics show that only 1.49% of the overall female workforce is in construction. 

(USCB, BLS)

This is highly attributed, of course, to the fact that the industry is largely male-oriented. In 2018, 78,509,396 women were part of the labor force, which represents 47.3% of the overall workforce. Considering the number of women in construction, it’s safe to say that the industry has one of the lowest rates of employing women. 

4. In 2019, the percentage of women in construction and extraction jobs was only 3.5%. 

(BLS)

Among the variety of jobs under this sector, construction and building inspectors (10.9%) and painters (8.9%) have the highest participation rate by women. On the other hand, jobs like brick masons, drywall installers, and steelworkers, among others, have participation rates of less than 1%.

5. In 2018, only 3.4% of construction trades workers were women. 

(IWPR)

This means only one out of 20 construction trades workers were women. A similar construction statistics was observed in 2006 when 3% of tradespeople were women. However, when the Great Recession between 2007 and 2009 happened, more tradeswomen lost their jobs than tradesmen. 

6. Women in construction earn 95% of what men earn.  

(NBC News)

The gender pay gap in the construction industry is among the lowest in the United States, where the average female worker makes 81.1% of what their male colleagues earn.

The narrowing gender pay gap and the projected industry growth rate of 4.5% in the coming years are two factors in the expected increase of women in construction in 2020.

women in construction statistics

Obstacles Women Face in Male-Dominated Industries

In January 2018, Randstad interviewed 5,400 professionals employed in male-dominated industries, particularly engineering, property, and construction, to gather data on the main limitations and barriers that women face in their careers. 

7. 49% of women said they have never had a female manager. 

(Randstad)

Conducting yearly women in construction conferences is a great way to raise awareness of what it takes to work in this male-dominated industry. This will help women break the barriers to become managers, thereby increasing female role models in the workplace.

Management is key to finishing a project within the budget and in a timely manner, and gender diversity allows for additional insight and a balanced workforce.

8. A whopping 93% said that having a female manager will either have a positive impact or none at all. 

(Randstad)

Insights like this that we get from yearly women in construction statistics can certainly contribute to companies and employers in their recruitment and promotion process.

In this case, this percentage suggests that workers in the construction industry are welcoming the idea of having a female manager.

9. Roughly 43% of organizations in male-dominated industries do not vigorously keep track of pay equality. 

(Randstad

The Office of National Statistics (United Kingdom) states that female construction worker salary is lower by an average of 14% to what their male counterparts make. The same goes for other building trades. As women make their way up the corporate ladder, the gap widens by up to 22%. 

10. Approximately 73% of women stated that they felt overlooked for projects due to their gender.

(Randstad)

This is in contrast to only 27% of men who felt they were being discriminated against because of their gender. These disturbing statistics suggest that women are not presented with the same opportunities as men to increase their involvement.

women in construction statistics

Female Leaders in Construction Statistics

Despite the aforementioned common obstacles that women face in construction and other male-dominated industries, they have continued to pave the way to increase gender diversity and inclusion. 

11. From 2014 to 2019, the number of women-owned construction firms increased by 68%. 

(American Express

Next to utilities (106%), construction is the industry that has seen the highest increase in women-owned firms between 2014 and 2019. In addition to this, the share of overall revenue by women-owned construction firms grew by 31% during this period. This women-owned construction company statistics has the highest growth rate among other industries.

12. 13% of construction firms are women-owned. 

(NSSI, The Balance)

This percentage has seen an increase of 94% since 2007. To support women in their business endeavors, Congress passed legislation in 1994 that aims to award at least 5% of all government-wide contracts to women-owned businesses every year. Unfortunately, as of 2015, this minimum percentage is yet to be fulfilled.

13. 9% of women-owned construction firms made over $500,000 in revenue.

(NSSI)

Female construction workers statistics will most likely show steadily increasing rates in women employment and promotion in the coming years as women-owned businesses thrive. Construction is an industry that’s expected to continually grow in the coming years, and it’s definitely going to open up opportunities that women wouldn’t want to miss out on.

14. Forty-four out of the top 100 construction firms have women in construction management.

(NSSI

Furthermore, 16% of these firms have women in chief-level or C-level positions, and three of them even have female CEOs. On average, women spend 5.4 years being construction managers in a firm and approximately seven years as C-level executives.

15. Women in construction 2019 statistics show that 10% of construction managers are females. 

(BLS, Construction Dive)

Statistics show that women are continuing to break the mold in the construction industry by taking management roles. This 2019 statistic was a huge improvement from 2003 when only 5.9% of construction managers were females. In 2018, women made up 7.7% of construction managers in the United States.

The Takeaway

If there’s anything that looking at the statistics on women in the construction industry has taught us, it’s that a lot of work still has to go into including women in construction.

However, history has taught us that women aren’t easily daunted by obstacles. With more women breaking ground in the construction industry, the industry is slowly taking steps at being more diverse and inclusive.

FAQ

How many women are in construction?

Of the 11,181,000 workers in the construction industry, 1,102,000 of them are women. Women make up 10.3% of the total number of workers employed in the construction industry. Additionally, only 1% or 1 out of 100 employees working in a construction site are women. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been an increase in female construction employees from 619,000 in 1985 to 1,100,00 in 2007. The economic crisis caused a decrease in this number, but by 2010, 818,000 women were part of the construction industry.

What percentage of women are construction workers?

Around 99% of construction site workers are male. In 2018, in the construction and extraction industries, only 3.4% of workers were women. The percentage of women as helpers, painters, and building inspectors are at an all-time high, with participation rates at 5.6%, 7.2%, and 14% respectively. 

On the other hand, there has been an increase in 2018 in the percentage of women working in construction management. This increase has been attributed to more women pursuing further education to advance their careers.

What percentage of carpenters are women?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, women made up only 2.8% of the carpenters in the United States. This means that out of the 1,292,000 employed carpenters, only 36,176 were women. 

Although carpentry is largely a man’s sector, women should still be encouraged to become carpenters, especially since the US Department of Labor expects carpentry jobs to grow by 20% until 2020 with an average salary of $19 per hour. This will definitely open up opportunities that women should not miss out on.

How much do women make in construction?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in construction make about 99.1% of what their male counterparts make. When working full-time, women make $862 weekly, while men earn $870. This is a huge leap from the national average gender pay gap wherein women make only 81.1% of what men earn. This is one reason why women are encouraged to join the construction industry. 

It’s not just women in construction statistics that have seen improvements. Overall, there’s been real progress in the average gender pay gap in the United States from 40 years ago when women made only 62.33% of what men earned.

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