Women in Construction
Who Runs the World?
Did You Know?
In 2015, Construction Labor Market Analyzer has projected that 1.5 million additional craft professionals will be needed by 2019 based on scheduled projects.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 9,813,000 people working in the construction industry and of these,872,000 or 8.9%, were women.
Women in the construction industry earning on average 93.4 % what men make as women in the U.S. earn on average 82.1% what men make. Statistics show how lucrative the construction industry can be for women!
Benefits of Pursuing a Career in the Construction Industry?
Find Opportunities to Train near You!
By using the BYF Training Center Map you will be able to locate high schools, colleges and industry employers to provide guidance and craft training. Getting trained and certified is the first step of climbing that ladder to success!
Featured Woman in the Industry
Let these women inform you on how to take that first step in joining the construction industry. Within this Q&A series you will find stories, advice and guidance on how to climb this ladder to many career opportunities!
Meet Kayleen McCabe
Q: Tell me about how you got started in the construction industry and who or what inspired you to enter the industry?
A: My father and grandfather loved building things. They let me help with projects, and introduced me to basic tools and machinery. But it wasn’t until my early 20s that I realized the trades were my calling. I’d dropped out of three colleges and was working as a production assistant on the home design show “Trading Spaces.” Production assistants were responsible for things like painting and taking out the trash, but the show’s behind-the-scenes carpentry team noticed that I had a knack for carpentry. They let me help them on projects, and I was hooked. I became a general contractor 8 years later.
Q: Tell me about your current job position and what you enjoy most about it.
A: I’m working on educational materials to inspire elementary, middle school and high school students to consider the trades as a career path. I really believe in this cause, both for the sake of the skilled labor shortage and the best interest of young people who aren’t sure what to do with their lives.
Q: What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
A: My freedom is important to me, so I’m very proud that I’m my own boss. I’d rather work 80 hours a week for several clients – and sometimes do! – than 40 hours a week for one employer who tells me where and when I need to be. I’m glad that I recognized my working style at a fairly young age and have been able to be true to it.
Q: What advice would you give to individuals starting careers in the construction industry?
A: Never stop learning. Learn to love learning, and you’ll always be in demand. You’ll also see the rewards in your work (and probably your paycheck!).
To my fellow women: Don’t go into the trades with a chip on your shoulder. Yes, there are legitimate challenges to being a woman in a male-dominated field, but the same is true of many other industries. Find camaraderie and be diplomatic as we all work together to shatter that glass ceiling. All contractors – male and female – are ultimately on the same team, and the sooner you decide your gender isn’t “a thing,” the sooner others will reach the same conclusion.
Above all, though, never let anyone else’s opinion of you determine your future.