Female Construction Workers Drive Change with Digital Tools
|The digital revolution has transformed the way we communicate and has become a catalyst for change in today's society. Here are a few highlights of how female construction workers are turning to digital tools to change the culture of the construction industry.
Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. TikTok. YouTube. Social media has given us many ways to start a conversation with a wider audience than our physical world allows. This has also given way to using hashtags to create movements.
The #MeToo movement, for example, has been used to make a stand against sexual assault and harassment. According to, #MeToo as Catalyst: A Glimpse into 21st Century Activism, “While it is unclear which changes are sustainable over time, it is clear that the hashtag #MeToo has converted an online phenomenon into tangible change, sparking legal, political, and social changes in the short run.”
Recently, Workwear Guru did an analysis of TikTok hashtags #womeninconstruction and #womenintrades to explore how female construction workers use social media to show gender discrimination in the construction industry. The study found widespread examples of sexism, undermining skills and credibility, poor working conditions, and inappropriate comments and harassment from male colleagues. The posts on social media help women in construction find connection and bring to light views that go against the male-dominated culture.
In 2018, an Instagram photo of a woman construction worker, Michelle Hands, 8 months pregnant on a jobsite in the UK garnered attraction from national British newspapers. “Hands is not afraid to share a post on social media about the day she cried at work or tackle industry issues in the news. She also wants to document how women in other parts of the world are contributing to the construction industry in their countries,” according to this spotlight in CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365. She has created a podcast, She Who Dares Wins, featuring women in construction and the issues they face.
Tradeswomen have also found a voice in social media and podcasts. Ally Jencson, NAWIC's Tradeswomen Industry Council Chair and upcoming speaker at the 67th Annual Conference, is the founder of GirderSkirts. The networking organization aims to support tradeswomen with a Facebook Group and YouTube podcasts. Learn more at facebook.com/GirderSkirts. Other podcasts for tradeswomen include Tradeswomen Talk, Woman in the Trades with Amy the Sparky, and NAWIC's Build. Lead. Succeed.
Another way digital tools are making an impact on female construction workers in the industry is through apps designed to improve safety and efficiency on the jobsite. Recently, NAWIC and SafeSite conducted a survey focusing on the digital transformation, supply chain issues, and the construction labor shortage.
According to NAWIC Executive Director Crissy Ingram, “Digital transformation is gaining significant momentum in the construction industry. Along with making work easier without compromising the quality of the finished product, it also opens up more opportunities for women. The survey shows the importance of digital technology and, ideally, it's potential to address some of the issues driven by the construction labor shortage.”
Whether through traditional networking, advocacy, and education or through social media, the National Association of Women in Construction is changing the construction industry.
NAWIC provides female construction workers of all experience levels with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, and public service. With 118 chapters throughout the United States – and international affiliates, too, membership is open to any women in construction throughout the industry. Female construction workers can connect with peers and find educational materials and training resources to build confidence and develop leadership skills. Applying for membership is easy with either the online form or the downloadable application to fill out and mail in. Several membership options are available for flexible pricing and membership terms. To learn more about our work to support female construction workers in the industry and inspire future women in construction, contact us through social media, or our website.
Our latest blog post features the digital tools female construction workers are using to make change in the industry.
What digital tools (social media, podcasts, apps) do you use to change how people think about women in construction?
#NAWIC #NAWICWomen #womeninconstruction #womenintrades #digitalconstruction #genderdiscrimination #advocacy #leadership #mentorship #constructionindustry