Women in Construction

The Next Generation: On Women in Construction

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It’s no secret that the labor shortage has been impacting construction in Maine for years. We simply need more skilled people working in construction, which is why it is crucial for our industry to invest the time and effort in supporting the next generation of skilled tradespeople. The next generation isn’t just young people, it’s also women. According to Anirban Basu, an economist and CEO at the Sage Policy Group, women currently account for 14.1% of the construction workforce, which while it is the highest level ever, even more women are needed. Encouraging and supporting women to enter the field is one of Hardypond’s central commitments.


“There’s been a clear change in my short career,” shares Hardypond President Deirdre Wadsworth. “If we project that out 20-30 more years, there will be more change. Construction is not static, it’s evolving. I have hope in how far we’ve come, but it’s still not fast enough.”


Economist Basu predicts that construction will continue to attract more women, saying: “The ongoing emergence of pre-fabrication and adoption of various technologies could render construction more attractive for women going forward. But it should be noted that there is a lot of competition for women in the workforce. They tend to be more educated than their male counterparts and enjoy increasing [opportunities] in financial services, healthcare, IT, education, logistics, and many other segments.”


Wadsworth agrees with Basu that technology may attract more women to the industry, however she sees this as just a piece of the puzzle. “Technology will help create an environment that is more consistent and allow for a more flexible schedule and increased benefits, which will encourage more women to participate. For me, though, a big piece is visibility and acceptance. The more women that guys see on construction sites helps normalize it. Most importantly, we need the men in management and leadership roles to make a point to accept women and expect women to be in the industry. They have the most influence, and their acceptance will make all the difference.”


Hardypond’s Senior Project Manager, Mark Childs, is excited to be a part of the change needed to build a better future for the industry. Active in recruiting new team members for Hardypond, Childs shares, “Hard work and being willing to learn are the keys to success. With dedication and determination, there is no reason why any woman can’t climb the ladder as fast or FASTER than any man. I have found that women add a new perspective on construction sites. Their input on details otherwise left behind is appreciated and welcomed. A confident woman exudes mature leadership and strength that is often lacking on job sites these days.” 


For Childs, he sees one the best ways to encourage more women to get involved in the trades is to raise up the women currently blazing a trail. “I made the choice to join Hardypond Construction based solely on a discussion Deirdre and I had over lunch during my interview process. She was confident and knew exactly what Hardypond needed to succeed. Spoken like a true entrepreneur, she was willing to take calculated risks to become more successful and was very honest about every aspect of the business. It was refreshing to have such an intellectual conversation about the future of construction instead of trading the usual jobsite stories of yesterday.”


We’ve always said that doing things differently is part of the foundation of Hardypond. We are a company where employees are valued and appreciated and our commitment to the next generation of skilled workers is one of our core values. Here’s to building a better future, one where supporting women on the job site is not seen as different, but is the norm.

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