My husband and I enjoy playing a game where we assign values of “buy,” “sell,” or “hold” to businesses, people, and concepts. The marijuana industry? Buy. Katie Holmes? Hold. Scientology? Sell.
Thinking about that idea from the perspective of remodeling, I would say, “Women in the industry? Buy!”
The share of women working in the trades has remained depressingly stagnant over the past decade, yet something else has changed, something that can’t be as easily measured.
It’s a consciousness.
“In the last three years, the number of phone calls I receive, particularly from the residential sector, has exponentially increased,” says Amy James Neel.
Neel is with Oregon Tradeswomen, an organization that helps women get into the trades. “[And] ... contractors are [now] specifically seeking women,” she adds. “[They] love the detailed, thorough work tradeswomen offer.” (Neel’s comments appear in our cover story, on the what's being done about the labor shortage.)
And this positive mindset isn’t limited to women out in the field. There has always been a solid number of female design and marketing professionals, but we’re now seeing more and more cohesion and knowledge-sharing between them. This includes Women in NARI gatherings, coverage in the trade press, and events targeting women in residential construction.
To that end, Professional Remodeler and Professional Builder will be hosting the second annual Women in Residential Construction conference, in Scottsdale, Ariz., from Sept. 28-30. Last year’s event was amazing, and I’m confident that this one will be, too.
Today, women may make up a small percentage of the construction industry, but I challenge anyone to find a more enthusiastic, committed, and engaged group. Maybe it’s because every one of them has succeeded in a male-dominated industry, or maybe it’s because our event is the only one specifically designed for the residential sector. Whatever the reason, the conference generates palpable energy and excitement.
Personally, I’d like to see more women launching remodeling companies of their own, and events like this help make that happen. To register, go to proremodeler.com and look for the Events tab.
It’s going to be a great time!