Celebrating Women in Construction Week

Celebrating Women in Construction Week

Women in Construction Week is here! WIC was originally created to celebrate women in construction. It has quickly become a chance to raise awareness of the many opportunities available to the growing number of women in the construction industry. Progress is being made on this front, but initiatives like WIC Week can help add fuel to that fire. Here are some quick statistics to paint a clearer picture:

  • Women made up 11% of the workforce in construction in 2021, up from 9.9% in 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • As of 2019, the number of women in trades were less than 2% of the workforce (JBKnowledge)
  • Women represent only 1% of the workforce on the front lines of a job site and are only about 2.5% of tradespeople, 14% of staff executive, and 7% of line executive positions (BigRentz)

By emphasizing and celebrating the important role that women can play in construction (hint, it’s the same as men), we’ll continue to break down barriers for what has historically been, and still is, a male-dominant workforce.

As such, we are highlighting some amazing women from general contractors across North America, to share how they see women’s roles evolving in the coming years and offer some advice to help overcome challenges.


“Equal representation at every level, from boots on the ground to the C-Suite, will be crucial for contractors to meet not only the growing demands of their clients, but also remain competitive in the quickly evolving AEC ecosystem.”

Mallorie Brodie, Co-founder and CEO at Bridgit

How do you see women’s roles in the industry changing in the next 5 years?

“People are the backbone of the construction industry and that includes women, too. Equal representation at every level, from boots on the ground to the C-Suite, will be crucial for contractors to meet not only the growing demands of their clients, but also remain competitive in the quickly evolving AEC ecosystem. We are already seeing contractors make a bigger effort to introduce apprenticeships and mentoring programs to help create a more inclusive workplace. I expect that trend to gain momentum over the coming years.”

“In my current role, I have created standard expectations that all of our projects either have facilities or a plan to construct facilities when needed to accommodate the needs of new mothers.”

Lacey Ahlf, Vice President of Operations at Skanska

How do you see women’s roles in the industry changing in the next 5 years?

I anticipate more women being represented in leadership for several reasons:

  • The career flexibility we have proven during the pandemic will allow more women to better engage in their careers because they can more easily balance work and family.
  • Technology and innovation will rise to new levels in our industry. In many cases, women are motivated to guide companies through innovation changes.
  • The demographics of our professional workforce has continued to improve for women, which will ultimately lead to more women in leadership positions. 

Can you share an example of a hurdle you overcame in your career because you are a woman?

One hurdle I faced as a new mother and a Project Manager in this industry was the lack of preparation/accommodations for the needs of a new mom.  For instance, working on a jobsite trailer that doesn’t have a private and secure location to pump or store breastmilk was challenging. Therefore, in my current role, I have created standard expectations that all of our projects either have facilities or a plan to construct facilities when needed to accommodate the needs of new mothers.

What one thing would you say to a woman considering construction as a career path?

Go for it!  If you enjoy working with people, problem solving, strategizing, and ultimately seeing your work come to life – this is the place for you!


Creating a better sense of belonging to improve retention and jobsite safety

Lora McMillan, Special Projects Manager, talked to Bridgit about how inclusive workplaces can create a better sense of belonging in construction and improve retention.

Watch the full interview →


What one thing would you say to a woman considering construction as a career path?

Absolutely do it! Working in the construction industry allows you to become a crucial part of building communities and bringing stories to life. There are so many careers within the industry that vary from the boots on the ground workers to developers, project managers, and accountants, just to name a few. The innovation we are seeing is also very exciting to be a part of and the opportunities are endless for any gender.

“It took me putting my foot down and forcing a change to start guiding my career. “No” was no longer an option.”

Corrine Smith, Assistant Superintendent at WE O’Neil

How do you see women’s roles in the industry changing in the next 5 years?

I see us really growing in the management roles, PM, PE, Estimating. The growth in the field with Superintendents seems to be on a slower path. IT seems like young women do not know that this career path is available to them.

Can you share an example of a hurdle you overcame in your career because you are a woman?

Where to start…The biggest and first hurdle that I faced was that I had more administrative experience than construction experience when I started in this field. It was easy and convenient for my company to move me around in those roles even though my credentials and experience surpassed the new hires in the engineers roles.

It took me putting my foot down and forcing a change to start guiding my career. “No” was no longer an option.

What one thing would you say to a woman considering construction as a career path?

Always lead with honesty and integrity in this business. Always be open and willing to learn.

“If the industry wants to effect lasting change, women need to see themselves at every level, or the interest to join in simply won’t happen.”

Lauren Lake, Co-founder and COO at Bridgit

“I’ve had the chance to witness the lack of female representation in construction firsthand, from the field to the c-suite. When I was an engineering student, I worked onsite and more often than not, I was the only woman. Fast forward to last summer, I was asked to speak at a conference with the CEOs of the top 75 GCs in the US. Again, no other women in sight. If the industry wants to effect lasting change, women need to see themselves at every level, or the interest to join in simply won’t happen.”

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