A recent study suggests that more women are moving into construction careers traditionally held by males. As the construction industry continues to shed the image of being a dirty job, a growing number of women are entering the field to become laborers, painters, and construction managers. Here are some reasons why women are launching construction careers.
Stories from Women in Construction
More women are regularly touting the benefits of being in construction. Aside from being well-compensated, working in construction can be a very rewarding profession; and every day on the job is different. Also, building something from the ground up provides an addicting sense of achievement not found in office positions. Although you might come to work with a plan, you must overcome new challenges on a regular basis. People are also passionate about working as a team. Getting into the industry is easier now than ever, too. For example, many firms now offer apprenticeships that allow you to earn while you learn. Another route you can take is to earn a construction-related degree that will put you on the right track for a leadership position. People with the following skills are typically good matches for construction management careers:
- Leadership – Candidates must manage large teams of construction workers by effectively delegating tasks and keeping employees motivated.
- Business – Candidates should be effective business managers who can hire top talent and handle important budgeting tasks.
- Problem-Solving – Candidates should be able to pivot and respond to unexpected issues.
- Initiative – Construction is among the fastest growing industries and candidates must meet the demand for new projects.
- Customer Service – Candidates must have an ability to satisfy customers, clients, and employees.
- Employers Are Prioritizing Diversity
Some states have recognized the need for more diversity in the trades by passing legislative mandates that require firms to hire more inclusively. As a result, many construction firms are quickly realizing the business benefits of hiring gender-diverse teams, too. It promotes different viewpoints and improves brand reputation. Although employers might not ever be able to achieve a perfect balance between genders in the workplace, leaders can still identify which roles need more diversity and develop a hiring strategy to help overcome it.
In closing, the job outlook for women in construction is improving. As the industry-wide effort to hire more women continues, employers should be focusing on creating inclusive work cultures where both men and women are empowered to perform at high levels.
Do Small Things to Show Your Appreciation
Showing appreciation can go a long way in not only improving morale but re-affirming an employee’s dedication to their role. Gestures can be simple: from a quick email just letting them know how much you enjoy having them on your team to a call or handwritten note expressing your gratitude for their contributions. Make it personal and specific. Consider highlighting their accomplishments and tell them that you value them.
Make Time to Connect with Your Team
Leading a team or a department is a lot of responsibility and can make things like connecting personally feel like a low priority. It is actually a top priority that should be done on a regular basis. It can help a team feel valued when you take the time to get to know them. Find out what’s going on in their personal lives and be empathetic when they share. Ask questions. Get to know what additional tools they need to succeed.
Make sure to have one-on-one conversations regularly so that you can listen and show that you are approachable. This is a good way to show your team members they can speak freely about what is bothering them or how they are doing in the job. This can open many avenues for you to improve the team’s function and cohesion.
Honesty and Transparency
Being honest and transparent with your team is a must. Some leaders believe that keeping bad news to yourself is better for the team, but many times bad news or hard truths can not only help the team commit and work harder but also give them something to focus on improving. It is difficult for a team to know the direction they are headed if they are only provided with good news.
Give Them Ownership
Ownership of projects and tasks is important for improving engagement and making team members feel valued (even more so if you run a project-oriented team). It allows them to care about what they do because they know that they are taking ownership over it, and it gives them the opportunity to showcase their skills and not get lost in the crowd.
Once your team sees that you care about them, that you value them for more than just filling a role, and that you will give them ownership over their projects, they are much more likely to go the extra mile for you and the company.
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