In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shared that women made up only 10.9% of the overall construction workforce in the United States. While gender diversity has been a topic of discussion for years, the construction industry has been slow to change. Entering the second half of 2023, it is essential we reflect on the progress our industry has made and the challenges women still face in this traditionally male-dominated industry.
At Talisen, we strive to be at the forefront of diversity and inclusion in construction. As such, we recently took the opportunity to gain valuable insights from a few of our female team members on a range of topics pertaining to their experiences in the industry, from the obstacles they’ve faced in their careers to their advice for women interested in the field. Join us as we dive into their stories that highlight the challenges and successes of women in construction in 2023.
What inspired you to choose a career in construction?
“I actually fell into the Business Development part of the construction field when a friend introduced it to me and made it sound very fulfilling, exciting, and engaging. And she was correct!”
“I love architecture and seeing the true beauty of turning architectural drawings into reality.”
What do you enjoy most about your career?
“I love that I get to meet and speak with such a diverse group of individuals – end users, architects, engineers, consultants, etc. – and discuss their various projects. It fulfills me to see how these projects, once completed, will add to the quality of people’s lives.”
“I love seeing how creative construction can be. Every project is a new experience, a new story.”
What was the most challenging part of your job when you started, and how did you overcome these challenges?
“The most challenging part of my job was getting to know people and giving relationships time to grow. However, I overcame this challenge by really getting to know potential clients as people first and building solid connections and trust over time.”
“When I started, my background was in Architecture, so the most challenging part for me was learning about MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing). It really is like learning a new language.”
What would you say is your proudest career achievement thus far?
“The relationships and friendships I have built over my 15+ years in this industry and seeing projects that I pursued come to life.”
“I have yet a lot to accomplish, but earning my coworkers’ respect and trust has, so far, been my most significant achievement.”
From your perspective, what is the most significant challenge women in construction face today?
“The construction industry is quite a male-dominated field, and challenges for women certainly exist but are changing. Slowly.”
“In many cases, we are assumed to know less than male workers in the industry. For example, questions that should fall under my scope end up being asked to a man.”
How can the construction industry benefit from more women in leadership roles?
“I think women and any diversified group can sometimes bring a new, different perspective to the industry.”
“I believe women tend to have very transformational ideas and, in many cases, take more risks because we have different perspectives on problems. As a result, the outcomes can be more creative. We also demonstrate passion and enthusiasm and are known to be more empathic and better communicators– all of which enhance teamwork. As a personal experience, the best mentors I have ever had were all women.”
What advice would you share with women interested in pursuing a career in construction?
“Pursue it! Find a mentor. Realize growth takes time.”
“Don’t be intimidated by men; they can be amazing allies.”
Talisen’s Commitment to Gender Diversity in Construction
At Talisen Construction, we firmly believe providing equal opportunities for all individuals in the workforce is the key to success in any industry. We are proud to have women on our team in various roles, and we recognize the incredible value they bring to the table. That said, we also know that there is still progress to be made regarding gender diversity in our industry. As such, Talisen is committed to empowering women to break down barriers, achieve their career goals, and strive for positions in construction leadership. Our partnership with Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) – an organization dedicated to preparing women for successful careers in construction, utility, and maintenance trades – reflects this commitment, and we encourage all women interested in roles within the construction industry to believe in themselves, take the leap, and experience the rewards of forging a path for women in construction.
Thank you to the Talisen team members who shared their expert firsthand insights for this blog post; we look forward to seeing your positive impact on the industry and can’t wait to be a part of that progress!