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Build Like a Girl: Introducing Young Women to the Construction Industry

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“I want to grow up to be a construction worker!”

This isn’t a phrase we typically hear from girls nowadays, and the statistics confirm it. Women comprise a mere 2.6% of the construction industry. This is a smaller percentage than female firefighters, an even more stereotypically male occupation, where women make up 3.5% of the workforce.

Regardless of these low percentages, there are fields within the construction industry where women actually command a higher salary than their male counterparts. Female construction laborers, construction supervisors, maintenance painters, and aircraft and vehicle maintenance workers earn slightly above their fields’ median wages, despite holding just 3% of these jobs.

Why these higher earnings? Women who choose male-dominated jobs are more likely to be perceived as “atypical,” to be less consistent with the stereotypes that are usually associated with women. Therefore, women generally fair better in terms of salary and advancement in “mismatched” fields, like construction. Construction jobs are incredibly lucrative, with top plumbers earning more than $84,440 a year, which is almost twice the median nationwide pay at $49,140 a year.

Unfortunately, many young women today don’t consider construction a viable career option. High school classes that spark interest in these types of careers are still attended mainly by boys. And it can be tough being one of the only girls in shop class.

To get more young women interested in the construction industry, Miron Construction will be hosting a new event this summer called Build Like a Girl. Thirty young women will be invited to spend the day with us at our corporate office in Neenah, Wisconsin.

Students will participate in hands-on activities, where they explore the trades that Miron performs everyday: concrete, carpentry, and masonry. Many of our female team members will be on hand to serve as mentors and to share their stories and information about their background in the industry. This event is open to local 7th – 10th grade girls.

Being involved in construction allows you to experience the joy of watching nothing become something amazing. We want everyone to have an equal chance to know what that joy is like.

For more information on this exciting new event, please contact Dave Walsh at dave.walsh@miron-construction.com.

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