Busting Myths on Women in Construction
As we continue to celebrate Women In Construction (WIC) Week 2022, we couldn’t think of a more perfect time to address some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding women in our industry! WIC Week is an international celebration led by the National Association of Women in Construction that runs from March 6-13 and aims to strengthen and amplify the success of women in the industry.
With a specific focus on ‘Envisioning Equity’ this year, groups throughout the country are raising awareness around the wide range of opportunities and career paths available to women. At HGC, we are proud advocates for a more balanced workforce. We empower our teammates to envision themselves in any role within our company and are dedicated to providing them with the support and resources needed to get there. From equipment operators to project managers and business owners, the future of the industry is no longer being designed just for men.
Myth #1: Women Can’t Operate Heavy Equipment.
Fact: Women can absolutely operate heavy equipment! If you can operate a car or vehicle, you can operate a machine. With our female workforce growing steadily to nearly 6% today, HGC is trending in the right direction to hire the most qualified candidates, regardless of their gender. We have proudly watched as one of our operators trained and developed over the last two years to progress from a Roller Operator to an Articulated Dump Truck Driver to a Dozer Operator.
“Women bring just as much value to this industry and the possibilities are endless,” says Alexis De la Cruz. “The idea that construction is a ‘man’s world’ can be intimidating at first. We have a unique opportunity to turn the page on a new generation of thinking.”
Our corporate recruiter, Jessica Rodriguez, noted on the Give Us The Dirt Podcast that female operators joining the team with no experience are learning how to efficiently run dozers and excavators in just three to four months. According to Jessica, “They are committed to this industry … to doing what it takes!”
Myth #2: Women Don’t Receive Equal Pay in Construction.
Fact: While there is always room for improvement, construction is one of the highest paying trades with endless opportunities for advancement, especially among those where a college degree is not required. Our industry also has one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the nation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates suggest women across the nation earn on average 81.1 percent of men’s earnings for full-time wage and salary work. However, women in the construction industry earn an average of 99.1 percent when compared to men.
When LaToya Faustin, Executive Director of She Built This City, joined us on our podcast she noted, “This is one of the industries where you get paid to learn. Yes, you can be successful. Yes, you can name your own price. Simply by being a woman, you bring more diversity to the team.”
Myth #3: Women Aren’t Viewed as Leaders in the Construction Industry.
Fact: There is no better time for women to join the industry! While jobsite knowledge and construction experience can be learned over time, there are valuable skills that can be immediately transferred to a successful new career path. Not only are strong collaboration, problem-solving and leadership traits critical to our business, they are non-gender-specific and can quickly improve overall productivity on the job. At HGC, we have multiple women across our leadership team from our Director of Finance & Administration, Sharon Williams to our Director of Team Development, Katie Page. With the variety of services and capabilities that HGC offers, we want our workforce to be just as diverse. If you are a team player who is dedicated to following our core values to help achieve HGC’s vision, there opportunities to grow personally and professionally at every turn.
“We are starting to get more requests for female talent. The natural attentiveness, passion and loyalty translates extremely well into a career in our industry. We are excited to see what the future holds for us,” stated Jessica Rodriguez, HGC Recruiter.