Women in the Trades

As we come to the end of March and Women’s History Month, The Campaign for Historic Trades would like to highlight resources for women in the trades.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up only 10.9% of the construction workforce. This number decreases again when one considers that most women have roles in administrative work. When it comes to the job site, less than 4% of the employees are women.  

Women face various challenges in the field, including struggling to find a sense of community. To help foster a sense of community and support, we have gathered a list of resources which provide a space for women to network. 

  

Resources:  

In April 2021, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America and the Smithsonian Institution presented a three-day celebration of women and their pivotal role in American preservation. You can watch recordings of the Symposium here: https://nscda.org/wips2021/  

 

Join the community of blue-collar women on Reddit here: https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueCollarWomen/wiki/index  

  

A Workshop of Our Own in Baltimore, MD is a woodshop and educational space which hosts in-person and virtual workshops for women and nonbinary people over the age of 18.   

  

Women’s Organizations:   

Tradeswomen Build Nations (North America’s Building Trades Unions) is the largest gathering of tradeswomen in the world. Their next in-person meeting is planned for October 28-30 in Las Vegas, NV.  

 

Dykes with Drills is a nonprofit organization focused on providing a safe and inclusive space for learning and teaching. They host skill-building workshops, retreats, volunteer events and meet-ups. They have upcoming workshops in the Bay Area, Chicago, New York, and New Orleans.   

  

National Association of Women in Construction   

NAWIC originally began as Women in Construction of Fort Worth, Texas. Sixteen women working in the construction industry founded it in 1953. Knowing that women represented only a small fraction of the construction industry, the founders organized NAWIC to create a support network. Women in Construction of Fort Worth was so successful that it gained its national charter in 1955 and became the National Association of Women in Construction. Today, NAWIC provides its members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and more.   

  

National Association of Professional Women in Construction   

PWC is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1980 that seeks to support, advance, and connect women and promote diversity within the architecture, engineering, construction, and related industries.  

  

Women Construction Owners & Executives USA   

Women Construction Owners & Executives USA is committed to making a positive difference for women in the construction industry so there will come a time when gender will cease to be a business issue.   

  

NAHB Professional Women in Building Council   

The NAHB Professional Women in Building Council represents thousands of members throughout the United States and serves as the voice of women in the building industry.    

  

Women in Construction Operations    

WiOPS is committed to the advancement of women in construction operation positions and mentoring of future women leaders in our industry. Through mentorships, education, and networking, we are dedicated to establishing a platform to share our goals and explore solutions to the unique challenges women encounter. WiOPS promotes hard work, commitment and integrity to maintain a professional network of construction leaders today and tomorrow.   

  

Women Builders Council    

Established in 2004, WBC is the leading association representing women in the construction industry on several important fronts: legislative advocacy, new business and professional development with a special focus on leadership.   

  

National Association of Black Women in Construction   

NABWIC is a Florida-based, not-for-profit organization, formed in 1991 to address the unique challenges of black women in the construction industry.  Its mission is to champion and empower women in the construction and related industries to reach their full potential and to represent the voice of black women in construction in both government and industry arenas.   

  

Canadian Association of Women in Construction   

CAWIC’s mandate is to facilitate the long-term success of women in Canada’s construction-related fields such as general contracting, trades, building products, architecture, engineering, interior design, and professional services. To accomplish this, CAWIC is in process of developing and implementing a variety of programs and services for women in construction-related fields.   

  

HOPE Crew, which stands for Hands-On Preservation Experience, is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It focuses on training the new generation of preservationists through hands-on experience. This past summer, an all-female-led team of the HOPE Crew completed a project on window restoration in Astoria, Oregon.