Construction Work Isn’t Just A Man’s World

HUNTSVILLE Ala. -- While women make up nearly half of the workforce, there are still some jobs dominated by men. Trucking, carpentry, automotive jobs are mostly filled by men. Some of this is because of socialized ideas about men's and women's work.

Construction sites are filled with mostly men in that field women face obstacles like discrimination, a pay gap, lack of advancement, and a lack of role models.

While women in construction may be underrepresented, they continue to forge a path in the industry.

"I love it. I would much rather be out here on site than I would be in the office," said Amanda Black, Project Safety Manage on the site of the new baseball stadium for the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

"On this site, there is only other one woman that is actually out in the filed, we have an electrician," said Black.

Of all the people in construction women only makeup only about nine percent, but that number is expected to grow to 25-percent by 2020, according to the National Association of Women in Construction.

"We're seeing a lot more women get into roles such as assistant superintendent or superintendent, or also working in the trades," said Medora Gaddes, an Assistant Project Manager and Talent Development Coordinator with HPM. "So women are not just going for those office jobs in pre-construction and project management, but you're seeing women actually wanting to be out on the construction site, doing the work."

Both Medora and Amanda said they were inspired by their families to 'dig in' and get into construction.

"This has been my life, it raised me basically, and now it's raising my daughter," said Black

Her daughter, four-year-old says Madilynn when she grows up she wants to operate an excavator or be a princess. Her favorite part of the job site?

"The excavator and a mini excavator," she said.

The construction industry as a whole is workers with skilled trades, like electricians, plumbers, welders, and mechanics. People with those skills start making 50 to 60 thousand dollars a year without a college degree.

"That's important, especially as we speak to women that those trades are not just something that a young man can start out in, that's something a young woman can start out in and do very well in," said Gaddes.

Both of the women say women bring a different perspective to the job. It offers clients and customers more talent to the team and benefits the industry. And the women who do work in construction are moving up. According to a job survey, nearly one-third of companies promoted a woman to a senior position last year.

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