Exuding a safety-first mentality; defining project management and sustainability; influencing the use of technology; creating systems to digest data; delivering innovation; mentoring the next generation: today’s Women in Construction are agents of change.
In today’s volatile economic market—amid high material costs and labor shortages—innovation, ingenuity, and perseverance are needed to drive the construction forward into the next generation of work. This will require a multigeneration, diverse workforce, with both women and men bringing new and unique ideas to the table—together—to overcome the hurdles the industry currently faces.
Companies with more than 30% women executives are proving they are more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranges from 10 to 30, and in turn these companies are more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none at all, a McKinsey report has once again revealed. A substantial differential likelihood of outperformance—48%—separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies.
Here is the challenge: Women only make up 14% of staff executive positions and 7% of line executives according to Randstad numbers. What’s more, only 13% of construction firms are owned by women. Women still face a pay gap as well, with 43% of organizations not actively monitoring gender pay gaps, according to BigRentz. So, as we all see we still a facing many hurdles when it comes to women in construction.
But it’s important to recognize, while the gender gap is large in construction, it is something that is apparent in many industries. According to McKinsey, gender diversity moved up just one percentage point—to 15%, from 14%—in 2019. More than a third of the companies in the data set still have no women at all on their executive teams. This lack of material progress is evident across all industries and in most countries.
We are making some progress—in the construction industry, but we still have much room to grow. A substantial portion of women executives and construction managers entered those roles in the last five years, suggesting that companies are more recently promoting women to leadership roles. Nearly one-third of companies promoted a woman to a senior position in 2018. Further, there has been a 64% growth in women owners from 2014 to 2019. Roughly, 44% of the top contracting companies have women in executive roles and 16% employ women in C-level positions.
Since the Women in Construction list launched seven years ago, hundreds of women have been named as the most successful women working within the construction industry and leveraging technology, and this year, 45 women are honored as the 2021 Women in Construction. Each year, Constructech magazine receives more than a 100 nominations, in addition to researching additional women in the space
This wasn’t always the case. The first year Constructech honored women, it took quite a bit of research to uncover deserving women. Since that time, there have been a surge of women working in the sector and building a strong reputation and their companies are eager to recognize their achievements. This demonstrates the strides these individuals have made in just seven years since the list first launched.
The winners are then chosen by a group of winners from the previous year as well as the editorial team. The 2021 Women in Construction Judges include Tracy Bell, Tilson; Jamie Berzon, S.M. Wilson & Co.; Heather Bowman, Branch Builds; Kasia Burzynska, Thornton Tomasetti; Sara Carlson, Curran Contracting; Rebekah Casey, Brasfield & Gorrie; Angel Douglas Stiemert, Ryan Companies; Rada Doytcheva, Rada Architects; Sarah Ebeling, Charles Perry Partners, Inc.; Jessie Houlihan, Stahl Construction; Erin Inman, Primera Engineers; Melissa Kershner, Aurora Contractors; Lori Buckman Moes, DJM Design CAD & Coordination Services; Jessica Morrissey, Bald Hill Builders; Sabrina Odah, Suffolk; Kelly Olson, Western States Equipment Co.; Jennifer Parkerson, Welsh Construction; Adrienne Sherwood, Grunley Construction Co.; Jennifer Jacka-Taylor, TREKK Design Group; and Lacy Wargel, Bowen Engineering.
Below are profiles of the 2021 Constructech Women in Construction winners. Let’s learn a little bit more about the agents of change who are laying a foundation for a future generation of workers. Please join us in congratulating and learning from the 2021 Women in Construction.
The 2021 Women in Construction