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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, September 11, 2020

Women in construction build successful careers




Career paths and plans have changed for many in the Chattanooga area in 2020 due to the spread of COVID-19. But there’s some good news.

While the pandemic has led to significant job losses across multiple industries nationwide, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor show residential construction hiring was up more than 300,000 in the last two months.

Women are benefiting from the construction hiring boom, too, so next week (Sept. 14-18), the National Association of Home Builders Professional Women in Building Council is celebrating Professional Women in Building Week to raise awareness and recognize the essential role of women in the construction industry.

Here are some reasons why women should consider a career path in construction:

Strong earning potential

A pay gap exists between men and women across most industries. On average, women in the U.S. earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns.

However, the gap is much narrower in the construction trades. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the construction industry earn 97 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Supportive network of professionals

Climbing the career ladder in any industry can be a challenge without a network. But NAHB PWB Chair Betsy Sheppard encourages women starting out in the construction industry to take advantage of the wealth of mentors, groups and councils that share their enthusiasm, core values and positive attitude.

Educational resources available

Funding is available for students who are interested in, or are currently pursuing, opportunities in residential construction. For example, The National Housing Endowment’s NAHB Professional Women in Building Strategies for Success scholarship encourages students to further their education in housing industry related programs.

A sense of achievement

A career in the trades brings a sense of satisfaction for completing high-quality work that contributes to home building and ultimately helping to fulfill the American Dream.

To read stories about the diversity of women working in construction, follow #PWBWEEK2020 on social media. To learn more about construction opportunities for women in the Chattanooga area, visit HBAGC.net.