Women currently make up nine percent of the construction industry, which is a small percentage when compared with other industries. Construction has always been a male-dominated field. Even fewer women work in the roofing industry specifically; statistics from 2014 reveal that only 0.5 percent of U.S. roofers are female.

However, an increasing number of women are stepping up to the plate and female workers and leaders are making a difference in the industry.

Filling the Labor Void

The construction industry is facing a labor void for a variety of reasons. Prior to 2006, there was a surplus of workers, but the recession eliminated millions of construction jobs. Though our nation and industry have recovered, the general desire to work in construction seems to have diminished. This combined with the baby boomers’ retirement has created a labor void.

Women are an important part of filling this labor void, especially in roofing. Many women can withstand the physical demands of the job as well as men. Others are making waves in business or leadership positions.

The labor void is a serious issue facing the roofing industry. Maintaining an open mind when it comes to hiring more women will help us gain qualified workers and a fresh perspective.

Relating to Female Clients

Unfortunately, one of the stereotypes surrounding the construction industry (and other male-dominated industries such as auto mechanics) is that female customers can get scammed or overcharged because they have little knowledge of the traditionally male industry.

Having female representation in your company can help set prospective female clients at ease. According to Forbes, women now represent 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing power. In some instances, women respond better to female representation when it comes to a new roof or roof repair. It can add a greater relatability factor and help alleviate the fear of being overcharged.

National Women in Roofing

Since it can be hard to get established in such a traditionally male field, National Women in Roofing (NWIR) was established to help support and advance the careers of female roofing professionals.

The nonprofit organization’s four main goals are:

  • Recruiting
  • Networking
  • Education
  • Mentoring

NWIR knows how much women can continue to benefit the roofing industry. It also recognizes how much intentionality and support is needed in this transition. NWIR welcomes both female roofing professionals and male roofing professionals who support the cause.

Note: This article first appeared on Cotney Construction Law’s blog and can be viewed here.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.