In honor of the many women who have contributed to the enhancement of our communities as well as improvements to the infrastructure of our state and economy, Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed March 6 – 12, 2022 as Women in Construction Week, recognizing women for their efforts in the construction industry. While construction continues to be a male-dominated field, women are breaking barriers, reducing the gender wage gap and establishing their own construction firms.
"Women in construction play a critical role in our state's success," said Governor Cooper. "As we celebrate their accomplishments, we must continue the work to ensure that women in all fields have access to equal opportunities and pay."
“Equal pay continues to be a growing disparity among women in most industries,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “While we are not quite there, women have made commendable strides in terms of equal pay in the construction industry. My hopes are for more women, especially college-bound girls, to take interest in careers such as architecture and engineering, continuing to break down barriers and improve opportunities for women in male-dominated fields.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, estimates suggest women across the nation earn on average 81.1 percent of men’s earnings for full-time wage and salary work. However, women in the construction industry earn an average of 99.1 percent when compared to men. In addition, in 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported more than 2,000 construction firms were owned by women, with an average of 15,470 employees.
While progress has been made, gender segregation continues to exist in the construction field. As noted in the 2018 Status of Women in NC: Employment and Earnings Report, reducing the disparity among women in male-dominated fields can be best resolved through advocacy and the promotion of paid internships, trainings, apprenticeships and recruitment of women in high-growth occupations such as construction. Doing so would help the current labor shortage and improve the economic outlook of North Carolina women and families across the state.
As the business manager for the state of North Carolina, the Department of Administration oversees the State Construction Office and Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses. For information on state construction projects, women employment and earnings in North Carolina, or to learn how you can do business with the state as a new construction firm, visit ncadmin.nc.gov for details.
About NC DOA, the State Construction Office and Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses
The North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell, the department oversees government operations and also advocacy programs for diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved. The State Construction Office is committed to the planning, design and construction of state facilities, including the university and community college system. It also provides architectural and engineering services necessary to carry out improvements to all state buildings. The Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) is instrumental in advocating and promoting the use of minority and women-owned businesses in the state procurement and contracting process.