The role of women in the construction industry is changing. The numbers are showing the pure amount of women in this market is declining; however the position of women in technology initiatives is on the uptick in recent months. How can more women get involved in technology in construction?

According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, www.dol.gov, Washington, D.C., the number of women employed in the U.S. construction industry has grown substantially by 81.3% from 1985 to 2007. However, with the loss of more than 2.5 million construction jobs between 2007 and 2010, there has also been a sharp decline of women working in the construction industry. Since its peak in 2007, more than 300,000 women workers have left the construction industry.

Where does this leave the industry? Today, only 9% of U.S. construction workers are women, which is relatively low compared to other industries. However, the good news is there are still more than 800,000 women workers employed in construction in jobs ranging from managerial, professional, production, and administrative.

The interesting part is more women are becoming increasingly involved in IT initiatives within their respective organizations. Take Terriann Nohilly, as an example. She is a project engineer at Turner Construction Co., www.turnerconstruction.com, New York, N.Y., and was appointed to be the SharePoint engineer on the $470 million SAN Terminal 2 West Expansion design-build project.

What transpired is what the company terms Turner Linked—an innovation initiative that marries a blend of technology solutions for storing documents, processing documents, and navigating to documents on a construction project. The concept of this project was to capitalize on the tools Turner already had in place, linking the pieces together.

While this is simply one example, there are a number of women in the construction industry that are playing a pivotal role in implementing technology within their organization.

Are you interested in joining the discussion? This will be a topic of one of the sessions at this year’s Constructech Technology Day event being held at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay on Friday, October 3.

On the panel focusing on women in construction, Nohilly will be joined by Cora Carmody, senior vice president, IT, Jacobs Engineering, www.jacobs.com, Pasadena, Calif., Jennifer Heikkinen, director of project management, Tocci Building Companies, www.tocci.com, Woburn, Mass., and Cari Williams, people practices leader, DPR Construction, www.dpr.com, Redwood City, Calif.

The women will come together to discuss how the role of women in the space has changed within the last 12-14 months and how the industry can work together to help more women get involved in tech initiatives.