A week dedicated to women working in the construction industry

From March 5 through 11, local groups are aiming to raise awareness with the hopes of bringing more women into the construction industry.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 8:10 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Did you know it’s Women in Construction Week? From March 5 through 11, local groups are aiming to raise awareness with the hopes of bringing more women into the construction industry.

When it comes to the world of construction, some may think it’s a man’s world. But as more women are being employed, this attitude is changing.

The number of women in the construction industry is at the highest it’s ever been, comprising approximately 11% of the entire workforce.

Although the majority of positions are currently filled by men, the pay gap in construction is lower than in other industries. For instance, women working in construction make up about 96% of what men make, while women in other jobs make up about 83% of what men do.

That’s just part of the message the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) wants to get out. It’s a group that wants to change the perception of the construction industry and help women realize that they can succeed in it as well.

“A lot of people have a perception of women in construction that they are out actually pounding nails or doing bricklaying or something like that. Where actually, it’s more to that. It could be someone that has an engineering degree in architecture, or it could be a woman that’s in the back office that does accounting,” said Gretchen Newcomer, NAWIC Wilmington - Cape Fear Chapter board member

In 2020, out of the 11 million construction workers in the country, women only made up one million of those employed.

Hannah Hill, a sales representative for the construction company Sunbelt Rentals, had a career change and explained why she decided to switch to construction.

“I came from pretty much an all-female dominated industry to construction, which is predominantly male. So it was a big challenge. But it’s been a lot of fun because you really get challenged and tested every day, and every day is different, especially when you’re on job sites like this, things can arise. It really gives you an opportunity to expand your knowledge, who you know and everything that you do every day is just a lot of fun,” said Hill.

She continued to explain how much support the Wilmington-Cape Fear chapter of NAWIC has helped her along the way.

“It’s been just a place to build connections with women that are in my industry. It also helps women kind of across the board who are new to the industry in Wilmington, feel super comfortable with walking into something that’s very different than what you’re used to. So the chapter itself has made me feel super comfortable and being a woman in the construction industry,” said Hill.

If you’re interested in learning more about a career in construction, there is an event on Friday, March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Front Street Brewery. The event is free, but you must register here to receive your free tickets.

Also this week, there is a food drive happening to support The Good Shepherd Center. Below are the drop-off locations with the donation boxes:

  • Waste Management Office: 3920 River Rd, Wilmington, NC 28412
  • Engineering Consulting Services Southeast: 6714 Netherlands Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405
  • Wilmington Brewing Company: 824 S Kerr Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403
  • Waste Management Jordan Company: 1712 Eastwood Rd, Suite 200, Wilmington, NC 28403