A Culture of Inclusion: Attracting and Retaining Female Talent In The Trades

avatarby Castagra Products, Inc.Last updated Jul 3, 2023Category: Roofing

How can we attract and retain more female talent in the trades?

Join our guest blogger, Angela Gardner, as she breaks down ways to make our industry more inclusive!



Written By: Angela Gardner, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Hill Electric


At Hill Electric, we are continuously looking for ways to make the construction and electrical industry a more inclusive place for female talent. In South Carolina, females make up 11.5% of the construction workforce with only 4.4% of the electrical workforce being women. Surprisingly enough, this percentage for both construction and electricity is the highest it has ever been to date.


According to Electrical Contractor Magazine, “One of the biggest factors leading to this increase is the pressing nationwide worker shortage. Overall, this has caused labor recruiters to look outside their usual hiring pool....U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Million Women in Construction initiative...to continue to promote inclusivity by continuing to recruit more women into these high-paying construction trade roles.” Clearly, growing the female presence in our field is a top priority.


Attracting and retaining females in the construction industry can be challenging due to a variety of factors including gender stereotypes, a lack of role models and mentorship, and workplace cultures that may not be inclusive or supportive of women.


There are, however, several strategies that can help your company foster a culture of inclusion for women in the workspace including:


Encourage Diversity and Inclusion: Ensuring that your culture is inclusive, diverse, and respectful can include anything from promoting gender equity, offering fair and equal opportunities for professional development, and creating a positive work environment for all employees regardless of their gender.


Provide Mentorship and Training: Offering mentorship programs and professional development opportunities to help women advance in their careers not only creates a solid foundation for success but also equips them with the tools they need to teach their peers. These mentorship programs can include anything from special training and leadership development to networking and development opportunities.


Promote Work-Life Balance: Work-life balance is one of the biggest reasons women are not able to participate in the workforce. Taking care of needs at home, including heavy parenting responsibilities, still skews more towards women than men. In today’s world, people are rightfully searching for employers that understand that life happens. Offering flexible schedules, remote work options, and family-friendly policies can help women balance both work and family responsibilities and lead to an overall healthier, more supportive environment.


Address Safety Concerns: Taking the steps to ensure that your workplace is safe and free from harassment, discrimination, and other forms of workplace violence is a crucial step towards making an inclusive working environment for everyone. This can include training and education programs, clear reporting mechanisms, and a commitment to investigating and addressing complaints.


Improve Recruitment Strategies: Actively recruiting and promoting the construction industry as a viable career option for women will not only help educate the public about women in the construction field but also increase visibility. This can include outreach programs to schools, partnering with local organizations that serve women and minorities, and promoting the industry through social media and other channels.


At Hill Electric, we are dedicated to encouraging women in construction by supporting initiatives like the Women Talk Construction podcast and Women Talk Construction Forum. These efforts aim to create a culture of mentoring and education, allowing women to share their stories and experiences to inspire growth and diversity in non-traditional careers. We believe in building trust and integrity through leadership and collaboration to create more opportunities for women in the construction field and nontraditional roles.


We are also committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the construction industry by providing trade-specific training and a supportive work environment to ALL individuals who are eager to learn. To achieve this, Hill Electric invests in our Workforce Development programs that continually upgrade our team's skills and knowledge of industry advancements, including lift training, electrical safety, and circuitry. By staying ahead of the curve, we can offer superior services to our clients and better training for our employees.


Moreover, Hill Electric is actively reaching out to high schools, career centers, technical colleges, and universities in Anderson and Upstate South Carolina to encourage students, including women, to pursue a career in electrical engineering. We offer various opportunities, such as resume workshops and interview training, to prepare students for real-world experiences and give them a glimpse of what to expect as electricians. These principles can be applied to all trades, including roofing and manufacturing.


Overall, creating a culture of inclusion, respect, and support is key to attracting and retaining female employees in the construction industry. By taking proactive steps to address the unique challenges faced by women in the industry, you can help ensure that your workplace is a welcoming and rewarding place for all employees.



Angela Gardner

Written By: Angela Gardner, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Hill Electric



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