It’s hard to believe an entire year has gone by since our first post about women in the building industry in Southwest Colorado. If you’re a female in the business, you obviously know that you’re still in the minority. But if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll be aware that things continue to change for the better for professional women builders in Durango and beyond.
Why is that?
- Jobs, jobs, jobs: According to the New England Institute of Technology, the industry will need about 400,000 new workers in the 2020 – 2030 decade. And, as we all know, firms across the country already face challenges in finding skilled talent. Women can fill those jobs, and the HBASC is actively promoting this path through our Trades in Training
- Business value: In addition, there’s increasing recognition for the value women bring to the workplace. The consulting firm McKinsey published a report in 2020 making the business case for diversity across all industries, noting that companies in the top quartile for executive gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above average profitability than less inclusive firms. And the gap is growing.
- Key skills: Women deliver this value by exercising some of the skills they tend to excel in: empathy, communication, collaboration, relationship-building, and supporting others. For more on these strengths, read this guide by Health Well Done, a coaching business for the industry.
NAHB Resources to Investigate
As a woman in building in Durango, you should be aware of resources to support you as you build your career. Since members of the HBASC automatically become members of the National Association of Home Builders, there are some opportunities at the national level. You can look into actively participating on the NAHB Professional Women in Building Council, or simply take advantage of the Building Women magazine and investigate scholarships and grants that may be available to you.
Be aware that the NAHB also hosts an annual Professional Women in Building Week. This is a time to look for blogs, webinars, and other materials you may find helpful, as well as content you can use to reach out to local media and enhance your own online presence. And, of course, our members get a discount on attendance fees at NAHB’s International Building Show, the headquarters of Professional Women in Building. The three days of the conference are full of ways to network and support your colleagues.
More for You
If you search around, you’ll find more resources available that could be worth a look. There’s Women Construction Owners & Executives USA, a group that provides education and networking opportunities for women in the business and focuses on advocating for policy that helps advance women’s interests.
A membership organization that supports women to advance their careers in the industry is the National Association of Women in Construction. This group also offers publications, classes, an annual conference, and a jobs board.
There’s an event called Women in Construction World Series you might want to check out. They have obviously had their own disruptions due to the pandemic and it’s difficult to figure out where they’re headed with what they term “the festival,” but the website offers interesting blog posts, as well as pointers to podcasts and a link to “10 Books all Women in Construction Should Read.”
If you doubt that the industry is changing, take a moment to reflect on the fact that CBS’s prime time lineup features a reality show for building industry contestants: Tough as Nails. Not only are women well represented, last season’s (Season 3) winner was, yup, a woman!