Women in Construction: Trade Organizations Making a Difference

Olivia Elsher

Jan 25, 2021

women in construction

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Construction is one of the many male-dominated industries that lack female representation. Women have begun moving into all different industries in recent years more than ever before.. Support and organizations that encourage and empower women to grow in their careers can be a real asset.

Just like in other male-dominated fields, trade organizations have the power to lift women up and help them find the success that they deserve and work hard for. Organizations designed to support women in construction all serve different purposes and populations. The variation of these groups is a testament to the growth the industry has already experienced.

Whether you’re a woman already working construction in an established career, you’re just starting out, or you’re a man working in construction looking to support your colleagues, it’s important to learn about the resources your industry has to offer. Whether you’re familiar with any of these organizations already or they’re brand-new to you, here are a few trade organizations devoted to making a difference for women in this male-dominated industry.

1. National Association of Women in Construction

The National Association of Women in Construction is one of the industry’s longest-running trade organizations.

Founded in 1953, NAWIC Offers all kinds of opportunities for women in the construction industry, from professional development education to networking events. It also hosts an annual conference for women in the industry to meet and talk shop. They also offer scholarship opportunities for women in the construction industry.

2. National Association of Black Women in Construction

Founded in 1991, the National Association of Black Women in Construction is a nonprofit organization specifically designed to support Black women in the construction industry. This organization provides networking and education opportunities for Black Women looking to expand their careers in the construction industry. You can find local chapters throughout the country.

3. Nontraditional Employment for Women

Nontraditional Employment for Women is an organization specifically designed to train and educate women for careers in construction trades. This training helps them achieve successful, fulfilling careers and financial security and independence.

Based in New York City, NEW has supported low-income women entering trade careers since 1978 and continues to provide empowerment and support to those same populations. Male-dominated industries have become less “nontraditional” over the years. Even so, NEW continues to push for positive change by supporting strong and capable women to enter those spaces.

4. Tradeswomen Inc.

Tradeswomen Inc. is an organization specifically geared for school-aged girls in order to help familiarize them with non-traditional careers so they can have a wider variety of options when they enter the workforce. By reaching out to the younger generation, Tradeswomen Inc. helps inspire young women to reach for their goals and build interest in all different disciplines.

Providing workshops, training, career fairs, and education, Tradeswomen Inc. is all about supporting the next generation of strong women leaders.

5. Professional Women in Construction

Professional Women in Construction is another organization that supports women as they pursue career opportunities in building-related fields. Encompassing industries like architecture, engineering, building, and construction, PWC offers all different kinds of networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and resources through their variety of local chapters.

6. Women in Construction Summit

For those based in the U.K., specifically in the London metropolitan area, the Women in Construction Summit might be a great resource to look into. WCS specifically works on challenging the difficulties that the construction industry faces on a daily basis. In addition to diversifying their workforce, they also assess and tackle issues like skill shortages and issues in digital distribution.

7. Women Construction Owners and Executives

Women Construction Owners and Executives is an organization specifically designed for women who want to achieve leadership positions. WCOE is all about creating opportunities for women in leadership positions and business-owning positions, providing opportunities for networking and collaboration between smart and capable women.

8. Groundbreaking Women in Construction

Centered primarily around their conference, Groundbreaking Women in Construction is an organization geared for helping women industry develop leadership skills and expand in their careers with the support of others in who are in the same position.

Specifically, women attending the conference are encouraged to network, share their stories, and lift up one another. Sponsored by some of the biggest names in the industry, this annual conference held in May isn’t one to miss.

9. TDIndustries Women in Construction

TDIndustries is first and foremost a national subcontractor, but their blog is packed full of stories about women’s success throughout the industry. They run all kinds of inspiring news and feature stories that can be great for anybody to learn about.

They also partner with organizations all across the country, like United Way, with whom they pioneered a program to train women in the skill of sheet metal mechanics. Although this organization is a bit more about information than networking, it’s still a great resource to have around.

10. Women in Skilled Trades

Based in Michigan, Women in Skilled Trades is an organization primarily focusing on bettering the lives of single moms through training and work in industries of skilled trade. Founded in 2016, this young organization has already managed to do a lot of good within the industry. They run all kinds of educational programs, events, networking opportunities, and even apprenticeship programs to help women of all backgrounds further their careers in all kinds of skilled trades.

Trade Organizations Making a Difference for Women

Construction, building, and other trades of that nature have historically been dominated by a male workforce. Even as women become more empowered to enter those industries, support is still necessary. We must ensure that smart, strong, and capable women who desire careers in those spaces have access to them. By encouraging women to seek nontraditional employment, these trade organizations contribute to the ongoing pursuit of equality both in the workplace and beyond.

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