Past Blogs

5 Fast Facts About Women in Construction

By: Kaylee Martin

January 2023

While the push for diversity and inclusion in the Construction Industry has created numerous opportunities for women to shine in this field, there are still areas where incorrect preconceptions damage the progress that has been made towards creating a more equitable workforce. Take a look at our 5 Fast Facts About Women in Construction for more information on the status of women in this industry.

#1: The Number of Women in the Field is Growing!

Over the past several decades, the number of women in Construction, as well as the number of Construction workers in general has fluctuated greatly due to a variety of factors. According to those at OSHA, between 1985 and 2007, the number of women in the field grew an incredible 81.3%! However, alongside a loss of a large amount of the total workforce, 300,000 women left the industry between 2007 and 2010. 

Despite this fluctuation, recent statistics show that the number of women joining the force has been steadily increasing with each passing year. Going from 9.9% in 2018 to 10.9% in 2020, we can see that the industry’s reputation as a “man’s world,” is soon to wear off. As more and more women dust off their work boots and prove to themselves and others that they are just as capable of making careers in the skilled trades, we will continue to see this figure tick upwards.

#2: Female Leaders in Construction Make Their Mark

Not only are we seeing more women in the field and in the back office, we are also seeing solid representation in the amount of female Construction leaders! In fact, around 13% of Construction firms are currently women-owned. Alongside this, as of 2021, approximately 8.6% of construction managers are women – a 43% increase from 2016. Although these figures still point towards a vast underrepresentation of women in Construction, we remain optimistic that this growth will continue for years to come.

#3: The Gender Pay Gap Lessens in the Construction Industry

Statistics show that, on average, women generally earn about 81.1% of what men make. However, take this figure to the Construction Industry, and you’ll find that the gender pay gap is quite small comparatively. Here, women earn approximately 99.1% of what their male counterparts make.

It may not be the across-the-board equality that we seek, but the smaller wage gap entails a positive trend in this industry.

#4: Women Have a Place in Construction

Although the number of women in Construction is growing, there are still some disparities between men and women in the field – many times making it difficult for a woman to feel completely welcome. However, with organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction and us here at She Built This City, as well as annual celebrations like Women in Construction Week aiming to support, train, and champion women working in this industry, it is clear that women do have a place in Construction as hardworking, intelligent, and overall capable equals.

#5: There’s Still Progress to be Made

Although things are looking up for women in this field, there are still ways that contractors can be more inclusive and inviting towards their female team members. Providing properly-fitted PPE (personal protective equipment), ensuring that female employees receive the same training and growth opportunities, and creating an environment of respect and integrity are just a few ways that one can establish a more equitable workplace for the women on their team.

At SBTC, we are committed to preparing women for careers in the Construction industry by ensuring that they receive ample training and support throughout programs like our Women in the Trades Pre-Apprenticeship and our Women @ Work Repair Crew. Through community, education, and opportunity, we aim to teach the tribe of women looking for a new path in the skilled trades and empower them with the skills they need to either begin or continue their journey. As we launch our classes, extend our reach, and contribute to the development of each and every eager student that joins us, we look forward to the future as we hope to instill within every tradeswoman that it is United We Spark!

2022: A Year in Review

By: Kaylee Martin

December 2022

2022 is a wrap! With the holiday season and the New Year quickly upon us, let’s take a moment to recap all of the amazing projects that we were able to complete throughout the year.


This year, we hit the ground running with our Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship. From February to May, the five women that comprised our group learned all the necessary skills needed to break into the electrician trade. These skills include all preliminary math, conduit bending, outlet wiring, measuring for the installation of fixtures, the ability to identify types of wires, and best practices for the electrician trade. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome of this program and we are proud to say that many of our graduates are now gainfully employed in the electrician field.

In March, we were also able to host our Change Maker’s Luncheon on International Women’s Day. At this event, we were thrilled to recognize three peer-nominated Charlotte women, Sidney Echevarria, Elizabeth Escobar-Fernandez, and Jocelyn Keung, with Change Maker awards that recognized their efforts to bolster inclusion, diversity, and equity within the community. With 230 people in attendance and over $25,000 raised, we were able to call this event a massive success.


In the spring, we hit the road! Traveling to Virginia Tech in April, 20 students were able to get a feel of college life as they toured the campus, ate lunch with college students, and learned about the university’s Landscape Architecture major. Other activities included an elevator pitch competition about themselves and the opportunity to learn how to screen-print t-shirts!

In April, we worked with our IgKnight group from Ardrey Kell High School as they designed animal-shaped bike racks for the Humane Society of Charlotte. This being their first project, we look back with pride at how each member came together to accomplish a unique and challenging task like this one!


With momentum from a successful first-half of 2022, there was no slowing down for SBTC in the summer. Partnering with Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, UrbanPromise Charlotte, Walter G. Byers Elementary School, The YMCA, and more, we held our Summer Youth Programs for young Charlotteans with a hunger to learn! From hammer and nail skills as they worked with materials, to creative design as they decorated their builds, each youth that we served walked away having learned something. In fact, we are proud to report that following our programs, over half of the participants reported the desire to use tools when they grow up!

Alongside working with youth over the summer, we also launched our Women at Work (W@W) Repair Crew! For the next two years, this all-women repair crew will work with SBTC as full-time, paid technicians – learning to start their own businesses while simultaneously expanding their skills to become facilities maintenance experts. Not only will each woman develop strong, transferable trade skills such as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, but they will also learn several soft skills that will give them an extra boost in the working world.


In August, our Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship began. For twelve weeks, participants developed their understanding of the field as our instructors covered a wide array of trade-specific skills. Alongside their newfound knowledge of foundational plumbing practices and terminology, each woman was also set up with multiple potential employers to apply and interview for jobs post-graduation to further assist them in their trek into the skilled trades.

In addition to this, from September 12 – September 16, we worked with organizations such as Hay Trabajo, Charlotte Pride, The Proximity Group, and the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor in order to host our Fall Education Series. Consisting of four educational webinars, we had the opportunity to learn more about how the skilled trades can further open up their hiring pool to include more Spanish-speaking individuals and members of the LGBTQ community, how to support the next generation as they enter the trades, and how to exemplify the principles of leadership.

Team Growth and Accomplishments

Of course, none of these accomplishments would have been attainable if it weren’t for each member of our incredible team which grew to include three new members in 2022 – Alexia Ennis-King (Program Impact Manager), Hatisha Mike (Operations Manager), and Marissa Pietrykowski (Program Associate). We also welcomed five new board members this year – Sidney Echevarria, Kate Mattox, Ava Goggins, Jenae Valentine, and Ruthanne Smith – each of whom will help guide SBTC to a strong future as we continue forward into 2023!

Not only did our team grow throughout the year – so did our reach! We were delighted to take part in several speaking engagements and podcasts in 2022. Some of these include:

On To 2023!

Looking ahead, we plan to kick off 2023 with a bang! With our Women in the Trades Pre-Apprenticeship gearing up to start at the end of January, the new year is looking bright already!

As we wrap up this year, SBTC would like to extend a special thank you to all of our team members, supporters, sponsors, and partner organizations for all of their contributions! We are so happy to have accomplished some incredible projects in 2022, and none of it would have been possible without each of you. Overall, we can’t wait to see what else is ahead as we enter the new year. With every successful venture, defeated challenge, and person reached by our message, we know without a shred of doubt that United We Spark!

We Have Liftoff: SBTC Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship Class Graduates

By: Kaylee Martin

November 2022

On November 17, we were thrilled to celebrate the eight hardworking women that have comprised our most recent Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship class in their graduation from the program! 

For twelve weeks, these women have gained both classroom and hands-on experience that will give them a jumping-off point for their future careers in the Construction industry. Through their hard work, each participant can now confidently transition into either full-time employment or continue with additional training to further sharpen their skills via plumbing apprenticeships.

From The Starting Line

Throughout this program, all graduates learned important skills that have prepared them to step out and create exciting opportunities for themselves in the skilled trades. Broken up into “soft” and “hard” skills, each facet of this course was designed to properly prepare our graduates with all the entry-level information they would need to learn the plumbing trade, as well as provide them with a background in professional communication. 

These professional communication skills include customer service, emotional intelligence, conflict management, and knowledge of different communication styles. Each of these are highly valued no matter the position, but can prove to be exceptionally useful as a woman in the trades. The ability to articulate to customers, solve problems between coworkers and superiors alike, and understand how an individual’s thoughts and feelings might impact their actions can be a factor that brings our graduates ahead of other potential candidates in the coming job search.

Other skills learned include all the construction and plumbing basics that these women will need to take the next step in their careers. From construction math to tape measures, hand tools to advanced power tools, and all the entry-level plumbing knowledge and terminology they will need such as types of water, pipe fittings, and basic service skills and diagnostic ability, our graduates received a plethora of information that will aid them in becoming true masters in their field.

During the course, participants were also trained in First Aid and CPR and received certification in both, as well as their OSHA 10 certification – each of which being additional qualifications that will push our graduates forward in the Construction industry.

Breaking Barriers

Although these basic skills and knowledge of the plumbing field are necessary, we recognized from the inception of the Pre-Apprenticeship that this alone may not be enough to change the career tract that our students are on. By providing an array of other benefits, SBTC created an environment where mothers and other busy, working women could develop new skills while the pressure of childcare, technology, and even weeknight meals were off of their plate.

For starters, each class, which consisted of Tuesday nights, Thursday nights, and Saturday mornings, had the option of free childcare for children ages 3 – 12 years old – thus allowing working mothers to attend stress-free. Alongside this, weeknight meals were provided to students to keep their minds energized and stomachs full while devoting themselves to their studies.

Other benefits included a $120 weekly stipends for those who met attendance, punctuality, and safety criteria and a free Google Chromebook upon completion of the course.

The Path Ahead

We at SBTC could not be more proud of our graduates and all they have accomplished throughout these twelve weeks of training. With every new skill learned, barrier destroyed, and connection made, we are overjoyed at the opportunity to teach each and every woman that attends our classes and help them find their footing in the skilled trades. 

Now that their efforts are complete regarding our Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship, each graduate will be set up with multiple potential employers to apply and interview for jobs.

Once again, congratulations to all of our graduates!

What’s Next for SBTC?

If you find yourself interested in a similar program, SBTC is excited to say that we will be hosting a non-trade-specific “Women in the Trades Pre-Apprenticeship” set to launch at the end of January 2023! This program will include a “tour of the trades” alongside First Aid/CPR certification, OSHA 10 certification, many of the benefits provided in our Plumbing Pre-Apprenticeship, and an abundance of skills to be learned that can apply to any trade. Click here to learn more!

United We Spark!

Breaking The Mold: How Diversity in The Construction Industry Will Help Build a Better Tomorrow

By: Kaylee Martin

October 2022

This week, Construction Inclusion Week is in full swing – helping construction professionals across the country begin, or further emphasize, their commitment to maintaining diverse, inclusive work environments. Sprouting from the need to improve diversity in the industry, Construction Inclusion Week is all about spreading awareness and supporting contractors in their journey to build a more varied workforce no matter what stage of the process they find themselves in. Whether they be a dedicated supporter of workplace diversity or a group that is taking its first steps into this realm of team development, this all-embracing week will challenge construction leaders and teammates alike to open their minds to the benefits of building a force of bright minds and able hands that come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

How Do Construction Organizations Benefit From Diversity?


As the newest generation enters the workforce, the Construction Industry is seeing declines in hiring rates and huge workforce shortages. In the midst of this newfound struggle, diversifying the search for future construction professionals can help mitigate this issue for many companies. Not only this, but building a team that is more inclusive can lead to a greater reputation, a better understanding of different employee backgrounds, and more opportunities to engage in minority communities – once again opening up more opportunities for hiring from a greater pool.


When a workplace is made up of a varied group of individuals, decisions can be made with far more contributing perspectives. When more unique ideas are on the table, a diverse team can solve difficult issues with creative solutions in less time than those with one dominant voice. Overall, this can contribute positively to company performance as longtime goals are met and as new, helpful processes take effect. 


Perhaps the most important facet of company structure, the culture in which each team member is subject to can differ enormously based on an organization’s approach to diversity and inclusion. With the Construction Industry being almost 80% white and 90% male in 2021, it can be easy for company culture to swing in favor of this massive group. However, as more women, people of color, and others from differing backgrounds join the team, the culture can change and grow for the better, granting a broader perspective to those who may have originally had a narrower viewpoint.

How Can Contractors Be More Inclusive?

Breaking Barriers

One hurdle to diversity in this industry is the many barriers that minorities face when trying to find belonging and make space for themselves in their work environment. For example, Spanish-speaking employees can often be outcast or limited in their tasks due to language barriers, and women may find it hard to fit in when being consistently outnumbered by men. By working towards removing these obstacles, diversity can finally thrive in the world of Construction.

Commit To Employee Development

Between in-office classes and hands-on job training, it is the responsibility of the employer to offer professional development if they want to grow a successful, knowledgeable team and promote from within. However, minority employees are often overlooked when advancement opportunities are up for grabs. By preparing each and every team member for success regardless of their race, gender, or age, those coming from marginalized communities are more likely to find belonging in an environment in which they feel valued and encouraged to progress through the ranks.

Staying Informed

Perhaps the most important thing that a Construction leader can do to maintain an inclusive company culture is to remain informed on the issues, successes, and needs of their minority team members. Ignorance or blatant disregard for these concerns will lead to lower employee satisfaction and could even drive the push for diversity into the ground. Overall, staying on top of the ever-changing world of what these groups face and offering a helping hand can make all the difference in maintaining inclusivity in the Construction world.

What Does Construction Inclusivity Week Mean to Us?

As an organization devoted to creating a more diverse trades world, She Built This City wholeheartedly supports the efforts of this event and will work tirelessly until its mission is achieved. By asserting ourselves as an industrial diversity and inclusion hiring success partner, we aim to help contractors of all sizes build their inclusive workforce by preparing youth, women, and those in other marginalized communities to enter into the skilled trades with the ability and know-how to succeed in typically male-dominated industries.

One way in which we are making an effort to bolster diversity in the Construction Industry, and the trades world as a whole, is through our End of Year Giving Campaign. Through this, we are challenging both our corporate partners and individual supporters of workplace diversity in the skilled trades to donate funds in hopes of raising $150,000 in order to back the salaries of our Women @ Work Repair Crew Apprentices. The women in this program make up a talented team that are hard at work learning a variety of skills including HVAC repair, plumbing, carpentry, and much more. Upon completion of this program, these students will be qualified to seek employment as Facilities Engineers in any Residential, Industrial, or Commercial environment. By contributing to this campaign, donors are aiding in building a future in which women and other minority groups in the skilled trades are viewed as capable, intelligent professionals in their field of choice.

If you or any friends, family, or colleagues feel compelled to donate to this cause, please click here to contribute to the Women @ Work Repair Crew. Through the generosity of donors, we will be able to continue our trek towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce both in the Construction Industry and all other skilled trades, further proving to all that it is

United We Spark!

About the Author: Currently a Project Administrator at Hoopaugh Grading Company in Charlotte, NC, Kaylee has enjoyed learning about and sharing experiences from the skilled trades since her childhood. Accompanying her father to construction job sites as a young girl, she saw first-hand how those working in the trades shared values of hard work and camaraderie – knowing then that this was the field she wanted to be in. Since then, Kaylee has found a way to marry her love of the skilled trades with her love of writing by working together with She Built This City to help spread our message and share our stories!