PHOENIX — There is an ongoing construction labor shortage here in Arizona and across the nation. On this Women in Construction Week, the industry is making a big push to show how much women are needed in these careers.
It’s estimated that the United States will be short about one million construction science technology professionals in 2023 alone. In the Valley, Build Your Future Arizona is creating pathways to close that gap.
In 2022, women only made up about 11 percent of the entire U.S. construction workforce. In the construction field, traditionally dominated by men, women also have the opportunity to be paid about as much as men.
The gender pay gap is smaller in construction jobs, with women earning about 96 percent of what men make. Women in general in the U.S. make about 83 percent of what men do.
To make a dent in the massive gender gap in construction, Build Your Future Arizona is holding different events and mentoring opportunities this week. Jennifer Mellor, with the Phoenix Chamber Foundation, said Arizona is feeling the pain of the construction worker shortage too.
“We’re projected to have about 265,000 construction jobs between now and December 2024," Mellor said. "So it’s a great opportunity with a lot of different pathways for women to pursue.”
In Phoenix, Alex Monnin fell into a construction career, after starting to work for Nox Innovation in college. She had virtually no idea she would continue working in construction, let alone a virtual position.
“We build a 3D models on a computer exactly how it’s going to be built out in the field," Monnin said.
Monnin is a project manager and said the virtual blueprints her teams create transform into hands on projects out on the company's floor.
“We bend conduit, put together different types of hangers and support systems," Monnin said. All of Monnin’s work though, start virtually in her office at her big screen.
“All of these different elements we build here in the 3D space," Monnin said.
Monnin added the virtual option, makes a smoother process when communicating projects with her clients.
“I can schedule a lot of meetings, present a lot of what we do, especially because it’s online," Monnin said.
And during this Women in Construction Week, the Greater Phoenix Chamber is working to attract more females to the field. The Chamber is making moves highlighting women who are already in construction careers, while getting out into the community at the same time.
“We’re doing a lot of mentoring," Mellor said. "Trying to get women out talking to other women and young ladies getting them interested in the construction industry.”
Women like Monnin with her hands in a high-tech sector of construction, who are also building a future in a traditionally male dominated field.
Build Your Future Arizona is hosting different events and mentoring opportunities to make Women in Construction Week.
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