Contrary to popular belief, construction offers more than swinging a hammer or running electrical conduit. Many women have found successful and financially rewarding careers in the field, bringing unique perspectives that contribute to a dynamic, stable career with good wages and many job opportunities.
Did you know in Arizona, women hold over 15% of construction site jobs, earn 30% more than women in female-dominated occupations, and have nearly achieved pay equality with men, earning 99 cents for every dollar? Their presence also brings a collaborative mindset to the workplace in this traditionally male-dominated profession.
Sashlelly Santos, Wireman 1 with Canyon State Electric, highlights the diverse work styles available, stating, “Some days I will be working with a team, and other days I will work independently.” This versatility ensures engaging experiences and continuous growth.
Samantha Springer, Quality Control Manager for Hensel Phelps, got into construction after studying civil engineering in college. “I got the opportunity with Hensel Phelps to do an internship. Through that, I learned construction was the path for me.”
“The general contractor world is a lot of fun because I get to work with mechanics, electricians, structures, and even the owners and architects,” she added.
Women also bring a fresh and valuable perspective to the construction industry, according to Dyna Mora, an estimator for Door Sales & Installations. “I enjoy helping homeowners bring visions of their dream home to reality. I know that a woman’s perspective can bring value to any construction trade…,” she said.
The construction industry also offers a lot of variety in the types of positions available.
“No matter who or what you do – there’s a home for you in our industry,” she said, “from working on computers or building something with your hands, or even being a safety manager like me.”
The construction industry offers an array of career paths and positions that cater to various skill sets, backgrounds, and interests, including those with no previous industry experience.
“Construction is empowering in ways I never anticipated,” said Isabel Carrera, who lost her job in the restaurant industry during the pandemic. She decided to attend trade school to learn carpentry, and now works in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC).
“The equipment is not as intimidating as people think and knowing that I can build something with my own hands is very liberating,” she added.
The industry isn’t all A/C units and heating ducts, however, and includes opportunities on the non-manual labor side of the industry.
Alexandria Monnin, Virtual Construction Project Manager with NOX Innovations, loves the industry’s variety and available educational aspects. “There is such a variety of work that you’re never going to NOT be learning, and that’s probably my favorite thing,” she stated.
Taken as a whole, the experiences of the women above are not unique. In fact, they track with a national survey done by the National Center for Construction and Education Research (NCCER).
The organization met with 176 tradeswomen and analyzed responses from 770 women in construction as part of a study to highlight the unique benefits women bring to the construction workforce.
The NCCER study discovered five main reasons women have found success in the construction industry:
Construction offers a wealth of opportunities for women seeking careers that offer variety, independence, and growth opportunities. With rising numbers, competitive wages, and diverse work styles, women can find empowerment, growth, and personal satisfaction in the world of construction.
The Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation‘s Construction Workforce Initiative, Build Your Future Arizona’s mission is to create a sustainable and skilled craft workforce by creating awareness about high-paying construction careers, training opportunities and mapping career paths to employment in these high-demand occupations.