By Josh Reap, President & CEO, ABC NH/VT
Women totaled more than half of U.S. payroll jobs last December, just the second time women have outnumbered men in the workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet while women made up just a fraction of the construction workforce at nearly 10% in 2018, that number is on the rise. In particular, we have seen an influx of women in craft professional roles, increasing from 3% of the workforce to 12% between 2013 and 2018, according to ABC’s 2019 Workforce Development Survey. That’s because construction offers numerous career opportunities with competitive salaries—especially compared to other industries.
While women in the U.S. workforce earn an average of 81.1% of what their male counterparts make, the gender pay gap in the construction sector is signifyingly smaller, with women earning an average of 99.1% compared to men. In our region, the annual salary for a plumber is $55,000, and an electrician averages $64,000.
There is no better time start a construction career, especially as Associated Builders and Contractors estimated 440,000 jobs needed to be filled in 2019 alone just to meet construction backlog. And at our chapter, we are committed to helping contractors recruit and upskill women so we can continue to develop a diverse and inclusive construction workforce and industry.