Groundbreaking Women in Construction 2024

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Groundbreaking Women in ConstructionLast week, I was honored to attend ENR’s annual Groundbreaking Women in Construction conference with fellow PC employee owner, Melanie Hurrell. This event was packed with female leaders from across the country collaborating, elevating and innovating by talking about shared experiences and discussing the future of the construction industry.

A vast variety of topics were discussed, such as the future of generative AI, male allyship, diversity initiatives, boosting credentials and breaking barriers. In particular, one topic that stood out was a moderated panel discussion on the concept of mentorship versus sponsorship and the ties between male allyship. We are finding that women have mentors but are lacking sponsors. While mentorship provides advice and preparation, sponsorship provides much needed exposure and opportunity for women to advance. Having a male ally step up and sponsor women is crucial to the advancement of women in the construction industry. In a survey of 770 women in the construction industry conducted by Ambition Theory and ECCER, it was found that 88% of women want to be in a leadership role, yet 72% of women had never had a woman supervisor. Seeing women in leadership roles creates a sense of belonging and helps build a confident mindset.

In another panel, three senior male leaders discussed their experiences acting as catalysts to advance women in construction. This discussion involved pay equity analysis within their companies, general awareness of needs of women on a construction site, and deliberately building policies to attract and retain a diverse workforce. There were certainly some key takeaways on how allyship makes workplaces more satisfying and companies more successful.

Over the next few months, the lessons learned and knowledge gained at this conference will be shared at PC Construction to further our work to strengthen successes for women in construction and continue to build a diverse and authentic workforce.

Building Better: A Women in Construction Study
Ambition Theory / ECCER 2023