Celebrating Women in Construction: Building a Diverse & Powerful Workforce

By: Cameron Page  |  March 8, 2023

Women in Construction Week is officially here. While we celebrate accomplishments year-round, this week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the growing opportunities for women in construction and to promote the need for women in what historically has been a male-dominated industry.

This year’s theme — Many Paths, One Mission — recognizes the different paths women have taken toward the common goal of strengthening and amplifying the success of women in the construction industry.

According to a 2022 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics study, women account for only 10.9% of the construction industry. By highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women in construction, we hope to inform women of all ages about the career possibilities available to them in construction.

We spoke with a few of our customers and team members here at Clearstory and wanted to share what they love about construction and their thoughts on recruiting the next generation of talent. 

Nadeen Qaru, Senior Project Manager at Turner Construction Company


What advice do you have for young women entering the construction industry?

Although the construction industry is headed in the right direction, there is still an unconscious bias that can be found toward women and minority groups in general. My advice is to harness that bias to your benefit by using your analytical and intuitive thinking to better differentiate yourself and your problem-solving approaches. Being different adds value and complexity — use it to your advantage!

How do you think construction can attract more female candidates?

Construction is becoming more inclusive as an industry. What used to be the ‘norm’ is no longer applicable today. The room will only continue to change and evolve, allowing for more diversity regarding race, gender, and overall thought process and problem-solving approaches. I'm a firm believer that the more diverse your company is, the more competitive and agile you will be. As this trend continues, we will see an increased number of females and minority groups more attracted to joining the construction industry. I am very fortunate to be part of a company that leads the industry in diversity and inclusion, where people being treated with respect and dignity is our highest priority.

What makes you proud of working in the construction industry?

I take a great sense of pride in being part of an industry and team that betters our communities by providing quality and environmentally conscious projects. One of my proudest moments, both personally and professionally, was during the start of the pandemic in 2020, when my company was called upon to build much-needed emergency field hospitals across the country to better support our saturated emergency departments. While delivering on our business responsibilities, we did not lose sight of the bigger picture, the humanity needed in this space. We worked with our local communities and school districts to create artwork that uplifts the future patients of the hospital where we focused on the true ‘end user’ needs and delivered a quality product, with the human factor at the forefront. It is not common in other industries to have tangible results for all your team’s hard work. In construction, you can physically see and feel the results of what you have contributed to your team, your client, and your community.

Alison Hart, Manager, Project Solutions at Mortenson

Alison Hart

What advice do you have for young women entering the construction industry?

Ask questions, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes — it doesn’t make you flawed. You will learn so much more on a jobsite and how to be a good builder from others who are more experienced in their craft. Find what you're good at and make your thing. There are so many different and important roles that contribute to the success of construction projects. Finding your niche will lead to other opportunities and give you pride in your skill.

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry

  1. Seeing the fruits of your labor, no matter what and how you contributed to its success! I love when my family and I drive past projects I worked on, even as a younger Project Manager, and it still warms my heart to hear my kids comment, “mom helped build that!"
  2. True partnerships and pride in workmanship. Everyone on a jobsite brings something that makes the project run successfully.
  3. Construction is highly innovative, yet we still value core building practices. My favorite building is the Empire States building in NYC, mostly because they were able to build the structure in 1930 in just over 13 months. The evolution of how we use technology and other modern advancements are fundamentally built on how we used to build buildings, and that’s pretty cool!

 What are the advantages of being a woman in construction? 

I love this question because if you were to answer this same question in the late ’90s when there were so few of us in the industry, the cliché answer was that women are highly organized, good problem solvers, and bring a calm demeanor when faced with issues. Today, I disagree with that answer or that it is an advantage we bring to this industry. What women do bring is some balance to a project team with different approaches, perspectives, and skill sets. As someone who came up in this industry 25 years ago, I never wanted to stand out as “the woman" on the jobsite, but I wanted to blend in with my peers, be recognized for my skills, and be challenged to learn.

 Pamela Frenden, CFO at Taylor Excavating & Construction

Pamela - Taylor Execuvating

What advice do you have for young women entering the construction industry?

Whether on the jobsite or in the office, you come across daily situations that require ingenuity. It's important to keep yourself knowledgeable about the continual progression of both technology and building trends. Be a solution-finder!

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry

  1. Teamwork, combining skills, personalities, and talent
  2. Completing a project brings a sense of accomplishment
  3. Always learning and being challenged

What are the advantages of being a woman in construction?

Female brains tend to be wired for different optimizations. Studies have shown that women have strong analytical thinking skills, especially when it comes to problem-solving, evaluating information and making informed decisions. Women can better understand multiple perspectives and communicate effectively. We can also introduce new methods or new approaches that have not yet been explored. This is an opportunity to be a trailblazer!

Madison Olugbode, Sales Development Representative, Clearstory

Former Project Manager at DPR Construction


What advice do you have for young women entering the construction industry?

Jump in with confidence, and use your voice to ask questions and make suggestions. If you are surrounded by a great team, this will be encouraged, and your career will grow quickly. Watch and learn from your Superintendent and the Laborers in the field. They have so much valuable industry knowledge. Also, be involved and understand how your project is making money. Dive into cost reports and review and understand your schedule with your team. Strive to master understanding both of these things.

How do you think construction can attract more female candidates?

Representation matters. Talk to your friends and family about what you do. Post your accomplishments and updates on LinkedIn. Share your projects (if acceptable) on your social accounts. Take pride in your work and share it with other women and little girls. 

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry? 

  1. Growth and solving issues - every project comes with its challenges. Finding solutions in the field and working with your Trade Partners, Design team, and Owner to resolve these can be super rewarding and expands your experience level fast. 
  2. Teamwork - Construction is the ultimate team sport. Many different people and departments play a huge role in creating success. Everyone works together and takes pride in their work, which helps the team build great projects on time and under budget. 
  3. Improvement - There is plenty of room for technology innovation and expansion within the construction industry. We're just scratching the surface with tech usage to help project teams build effectively and efficiently. This means the industry has so much opportunity to improve and become more efficient!

Alexis Morgan, Customer Success Manager, Clearstory

Former Service Coordinator at Blair Fire Protection


What advice do you have for young women entering the construction industry?

  1. Always be your authentic self
  2. Do not change who you are to fit a certain mold 
  3. Stay confident!

Tell me three things that you love about the construction industry

  1. The constant change in pace and problem-solving would motivate me to continue to learn and stay engaged.
  2. When asked why I’ve worked in this industry, my response is always, “these are my people." I was raised around the construction industry, and the people make me feel at home.
  3. When working in a service department, the end product usually involves grateful customers. Experiencing the end product in new construction or build-outs would be a new restaurant or beautiful modern apartments.

What makes you proud of working in the construction industry?

I take pride in being an element of diversity in a male-dominated industry. I also love being able to say I am a part of an industry that makes our country continue to grow and advance. 

To learn more about the resources and programs for women to grow their careers in construction and how your company can support them, visit The National Association of Women in Construction. 

Cameron Page
Cameron Page

Cameron leads Clearstory as the founder and CEO. After 10 years as a Project Manager at Devcon, a leading design-build GC, he knew there should be a better way to track and communicate on Change Orders. He started Clearstory with a mission to help the entire construction industry get extra work processed and closed faster in order to reduce risk, waste less time, and strengthen relationships.

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