Women in the Construction Industry
The face of the home industry is changing, and women are here to get the job done.
What would you picture if I asked you to describe the construction worker down the street? Studies have shown that you, along with most people, would probably envision a man. Someone burly, gruff and capable of lifting heavy objects. But as of late, unexpected faces are popping in to lighten the load.
An estimated 2 million new jobs will be added in construction this year, and many companies are looking to fill those positions with what was once seen as a nontraditional candidate—women. Since 2018 the number of women in construction management positions has grown by 10%, with thousands of women ditching their desk jobs to join the construction site just this year.
And what’s not seen in these numbers is the increasing number of women across the entire home industry, starting out or settling into jobs in real estate, design, architecture, green energy, landscaping and various other trades and crafts. The federal government and nonprofits have also dedicated millions of dollars in grants to train the next generation of tradeswomen. While it may be unclear just how many women are now jumping into the home industry, one thing is clear—the future is female.
Angela Cacace wasn’t always the face of a movement. Her beginning in the home industry started small, with her entry into This Old House’s home renovation contest. A barber by trade, Cacace was thrilled when her entry wasn’t just accepted but won the contest. The editor, impressed by her project, encouraged her to pursue her dream of construction and design, and soon enough, Cacace was enrolled in her local building class.
To her surprise, half of the class was made up of women. When she went to brag on all the women in her class in a Facebook post, she jokingly added #MoveOverBob (based on the cartoon character Bob The Builder), aimed not at replacing men in the industry but simply asking them to make a little room for these talented women. The hashtag caught on, and now the Move Over Bob initiative has a Facebook, Instagram and website dedicated to providing resources for women in the home industry and shining a light on the incredible women making a change in their fields.
Part of what #MoveOverBob and other women’s organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction tout is the unique skills and qualities that women bring to the home industry. In an interview with The Washington Post, Joan Barton, owner of popular design/build firm Dirty Girl Construction emphasized the big advantages of having women in the industry. “Construction is intense, but women are really amazing business people. We’re multitaskers, we’re artistic, and we can spin our talents into things. There are a million moving parts to building a home, and everything has to be in rhythm,” said Barton.
Studies have also shown that women hold the purchasing power in most families. So when it comes time for renovations, buying real estate or redesigning a kitchen, women are leading the charge in these endeavors, and unsurprisingly, they relish the opportunity to work with other women.
Join The Movement
As more women get involved in the home industry and reach new heights, it’s easy to see the difference they are making. More creative ideas, new services, and innovations push the future forward. While you can network and find women like this through organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction, we also encourage you to learn more about and support the women listed in our Top Women in The Home Industry lineup.
If you are interested in getting involved in the home industry, Cacace says there’s no time like the present! You can get involved with organizations like Move Over Bob, apply for scholarships through backHer and even consider reaching out to women remodelers and designers in your community.
If you are looking for more resources and ways to get started in the remodeling industry check out our guide at www.atlantahomeimprovement.com/cutting-edge-careers-in-home-improvement. Within you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to get your foot in the door at local universities, trade schools, organizations and more.
By The Numbers:
Women make up…
69% of interior designers
65% of realtors
24% of landscape architects
21% of home maintenance pros
17% of architects
13% of tradespeople
13% of construction firm owners
Move Over Bob | www.moveoverbob.com
National Association of Women in Construction | www.nawic.org
Dirty Girl Construction | www.dirtygirlconstruction.com
Backher | www.backher.com