Women & The Construction/Building Industry

March is officially designated as Women’s History Month. And as such, we thought it only apropos to celebrate women in the construction/building industry. Not a historical celebration, but rather an examination of the role women play in the industry today and a look towards the future.

While Lita Dirks & Co is not a construction or building company per se, we are, as interior designers and model merchandisers very much a part of the industry. Further, having been a successful (over 25 years now!) woman-owned and operated firm that works exclusively with home builders, this subject is near and dear to us.

Despite the fact that construction has traditionally been male-dominated, women are breaking ground (pun intended) in the industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 10% of construction workers are women. Very few of them work on a job site: for every 100 employees in the field, only 1 of them is a woman. Furthermore, women currently make up almost half (47%) of the US workforce. This means that the construction/building industry only employs approximately 1.25% of “available” women. That is a lot of lost opportunity.

However, despite this enormous gender gap, women continue to blaze a path in the industry.

Women Leaders in Construction/Building Industry

While slightly outdated as it was published in 2019, Construction Business Owner, the online magazine, published their list of 20 Female Leaders in Construction You Need to Know. It is incredibly impressive. The list covers female construction/building industry leaders who work in the back office, in the field, and in the C-suite. It’s an inspirational read. And it was published almost two years ago. The situation continues to improve for women.


New construction industry jobs are expected to grow by almost 2 million in 2022. As a result, companies are looking to recruit more women than ever before to bring their skill sets to the industry. Further, while companies are looking for more women, more women should be looking to make their career in the construction/building industry for a myriad of reasons, including:

Leadership opportunities. The shortage of females in the industry provides more opportunities for the women that are in the field. There is a lot of room for growth.

Job security. Over the next five years, the need for construction workers is expected to grow substantially. A labor shortage means more job stability.

Higher income potential.  On average, women who work construction and trade careers earn up to 30% more than traditional female-dominated careers (e.g., administrative, and childcare work).

A Bright Future

The good news is the construction/building industry is changing. The leaders of tomorrow are welcoming tech adoption, alternative methods for project delivery, and other changes with open arms. Including new, female leaders.