Chief of Content

Erika Taylor is the chief of content for Professional Remodeler. Contact her at etaylor@sgcmail.com or 972.803.4014.

A Subtle Change in the Residential Construction Industry

We are on the cusp of a truly exciting time for women in construction 

August 16, 2017

I’ve been with Professional Remodeler for fewer than three years, but in that relatively short amount of time I’ve seen an interesting change take place in the industry. It has to do with the way 9 percent of remodeling professionals are perceived by others and themselves. The change is subtle, but noticeable. 

I’m talking about women. 

I remember being brand new on the job and walking the floor of a trade show with Sal Alfano, our director of content, as he introduced me to various companies and products. The majority of the booths were staffed by men, and I noticed that they mostly made eye contact with Sal. In a number of cases, when I asked a question, they would answer as if he had asked it. I don’t think that anyone intended to insult me, yet I do believe that my gender played a role in those interactions, even if it wasn’t conscious.

In 2015, Professional Remodeler along with Professional Builder hosted the first Women in Residential Construction conference. There were about 75 women there and the camaraderie and enthusiasm was amazing. Many of the women in that room had experienced being treated differently at one time or another, and while they weren’t angry—this was an upbeat group—they were conscious of the challenges they had faced to become successful in a male-dominated industry.

Over the next year, I began to notice small signs of change. Two different homeowners called to ask if I could recommend a woman-owned remodeling company in their area. Female project managers started becoming increasingly common, and I saw women in the construction industry getting more support and mainstream media attention than they had in the past. A shift had quietly taken place, or maybe it had been occurring for a long time and finally reached critical mass. 

We had 140 women at last years’ conference, and the mood there reflected the larger trend I was seeing. The event felt celebratory, exuberant even, with a palpable energy and excitement. 

This year we’re expecting 200 attendees. 

We are on the cusp of what’s likely the most exciting time for women in construction in the industry’s history. I am honored to be here at this moment, and I invite you to come enjoy it with me.

Our conference is from Sept. 13-15 at the Omni Resort & Spa, in Scottsdale, Ariz. It will feature inspiring and insightful industry speakers, creative workshops, and great networking opportunities. To register, click here. You won’t regret it! 

Comments

When I started in the construction supply business in 1974 there were very few women but I seemed to be very welcome in the Tucson area market. Before long the company I worked for hired a lady outside sales person so now our mainly male based customers had to deal with females inside and outside. We made strides and blazed the trail for other women in the industry and soon we began to see ladies with rental yards, hardware store, and fastener houses.
Now after 43 years in the industry and owning my own company, Precision Tool and Construction Supply, Inc., for 30 years with my sister as my partner we are happy to see our gender gaining in this male dominated industry. Its been a long haul. At Precision we have a staff that includes our lady sales manager (17 years) , purchasing agent( 23 years) inside store manager ( 16 years) and even a lady mechanic who has been with us for over 10 years. We have many customers that are woman owned businesses in the following trades..pest control, finish carpentry, solar, remodeling, plumbing, landscaping, and electrical.
I hope in the future more women enter the construction industry and not just do well but excel...

One more quick comment.. We are known as the Tool Ladies in our industry among the STAFDA and SphereOne organizations.. our website is
www.thetoolladies.com

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