Women in Construction 2021: Benefits and Recruitment

Women in Construction Week 2021: March 7-14

From March 7-14, National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) celebrates Women in Construction Week, dedicated to bringing more women into our industry. Through a combination of recruiting events, articles, and workshops, the NAWIC aims to highlight the increasingly important role that women play in the trades.

L&W Supply is proud to help raise awareness of the opportunities available to women in the world of building materials, as well as emphasizing their growing role in it. From mentorship of new associates to college recruitment events, L&W’s teams across the country make it their goal to develop a diverse and competitive workforce. Bringing more women aboard our teams is a key part of that aim.

“As a branch manager, I try to change the perception it is primarily young men who are encouraged to build a career in construction,” says Norma Serrato, L&W Supply Redlands Branch Manager. “If more women know about the various opportunities available to them in building materials, it would be a lot easier for them to see themselves working in our industry.”

The Benefits of a Diverse Team

Jobs in construction can offer women competitive benefits, job security, and opportunities for career mobility. One of the most common career paths for L&W Supply Branch Managers are people who began as Stockers and worked their way up through the ranks until eventually running a branch of their own.

“Early in my career, it was crucial that I was able to see a career path for myself with this company and had the chance to grow my skills,” says Anebel Hernandez, Branch Manager for L&W Supply Miami. “At L&W Supply, I was able to see a future for myself because my manager helped me understand what opportunities were available.”

By mentoring women at the start of their careers and discussing career goals, managers can make a big difference for newer associates. It can give new hires the chance to learn more about potential career paths, encouraging them to see a future for themselves at your company. Comprehensive training programs and apprenticeships for women have been successful at increasing women’s success in developing careers in construction.

Occupational health and safety (OHS) woman staff (engineer) looking at the camera with protective mask for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the construction field.Challenging the Perception

The construction trades have always had to contend with their perception as a male-dominated industry, and building materials is no different. It takes a thoughtful approach to hiring and building teams in order to combat this perception.

One of the greater misconceptions about construction is that all jobs in our industry require extensive physical labor. While there are plenty of people, including women, who are open to physical labor, today’s job opportunities include many positions which require different skills entirely.

The culture of construction companies has continued to evolve in order to keep up with an evolving workforce. Today, the construction industry is in one of the few in which the pay gap between men and women is nearly zero, and women are now occupying more to leadership and management roles in recent years than ever before.

One of the best ways to combat this perception is to lead by example: if women can see themselves reflected in the leadership of your company, they will be more likely to feel as though they have opportunities for advancement as well.

Celebrating Women’s Role

How do you help combat outdated ideas on what jobs are most suitable for women? At L&W Supply, we have been asking ourselves this question for years, and the shift does not come overnight.

The best place to start is to create the type of company that both men and women want to work for, a positive environment where new hires receive comprehensive training. By highlighting the range of opportunities available to women looking to enter the trades, you can start changing the narrative surrounding the construction industry.

Looking for further reading on this topic? A number of initiatives and organizations have formed in recent years to help bring women into construction. Visit the links below to learn more.

The National Association for Women in Construction (NWIC)


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