Breaking The Concrete Ceiling: How To Be A Successful Woman In Construction


As a woman, there are jobs which are out of your reach. Yes, it is possible to get into construction, but most women decide against it because it is a male-dominated industry. Is it really worth the constant wolf whistles and innuendos? The majority of females would say no, yet they wouldn’t know about the earning potential. That’s right ladies – the construction industry is one of the most lucrative in business. With a record number of people going to universities, companies are crying out for help. Plus, the demand is still high because the world is expanding at an exponential rate.

It is only right that women reap the rewards as much as men. After all, it is the twenty-first century. So, it’s time to take on the big boys at their own game. Before you try, though, there are a few things you should know, mainly how you can succeed.

Here are the resources which will help you transform into a successful businesswoman in the construction sector.


Women are relatively new to the industry, and that means there will be incidents. Some guys will say inappropriate things, and others won’t have your back. On the whole, you might feel like the new kid at school all those years ago. However, instead of biting back and giving them the pleasure, try and be patient. When they see that you are there to work, the levels of respect will grow. Sure, the odd comment still could come your way, but you will have a thick skin by then. Although measures are in place, running to the boss to complain isn’t how to succeed. Of course, if it’s a major incident, it needs reporting as soon as possible. If it little boys acting like men, you should bide your time. After all, you have to play the game to change the game.

Accredited Qualifications

The majority of the site will have reservations about a woman, so it’s essential to prove you are legitimate. Even if it doesn’t get you the respect straight away, it will keep them off your back. The key is to come with the right qualifications from reputable organizations. Nowadays, it is possible to go to university and pick up a degree in Business and Management. Or, you can join the Laborers’ International Union of North America. This union is a sign that you are a fully fledged member of the construction industry and that you take your job seriously. Besides these certifications, invest in experience. Lots of men on sites don’t have formal qualifications, and people who do scare them a little. With a strong amount of experience, you should understand the unwritten rules of construction. This will help you relate better.


Ultimately, they will judge you on the results. It is like any business – the people in charge are held accountable for the ups and downs. As long as you can get results, they will have to respect you and your credentials. Of course, it is easier to say than do, but it isn’t impossible. The trick is to cultivate a wide-range of contacts across the industry. Does the job require expensive machinery on a budget? Well, your equipment hire company associates should be able to offer a good deal. What about the endless red tape from the local authority? Your person in the council will be able to give you advice on how best to go forward. Whatever the problem, there is always someone who can pull strings and improve the situation. It is up to you to make sure that someone is on your speed dial.


There is a difference between contacts and friends. Contacts do favors in exchange for favors, while friends have your back in a crisis. Both are vital, but friends are crucial in the early stages of your career. Whether you want to work on site or manage one, there will be enemies looking to stab you in the back. Sadly, it’s an occupational hazard of not being ‘one of the boys.’ The good news is it is possible to avoid if you have a strong clique that comes to your aid. Your best bet is to link with the other women because you all have similar interests. Explain to them that as it is a male dominated industry, it is better if you all stick together. Sometimes, female coworkers tend to fight one another. In this business, you can’t afford to fight the people who might be your only allies.

A Strong Voice

Because most rooms will be full of guys with loud voices, it’s hard to make your voice heard. But, it is essential if you want to move up through the industry or assert your dominance. After all, promotion candidates get noticed before they get offered a job. And, bosses can’t let their subordinates take over control by dominating the workplace. With this in mind, you can’t be afraid to raise your voice whenever you are in a busy work environment. If no one asks for your opinion, don’t let that stop you from offering it in the first place. If no one listens, keep on drilling it home until they get the message. A strong voice isn’t only about being loud – it’s about being persistent. In the end, they will look to you for guidance, or they will start to respect what you have to say. Just make sure your opinions are succinct, balanced, and on point. No one respects a person who is wrong.

Adaptable Speech

What does this mean? It means that guys speak differently, and you have to get to their level. Women that don’t know how to talk to men suffer from communication issues. Even though women know what they are saying, the guys might not be able to understand. As a result, it is essential to master male speech. That doesn’t mean you should objectify women and cuss more, but be more direct. For example, women use qualifiers to allow others into the conversation whereas men see this as a weakness.

Succeeding in this industry isn’t easy, but it is possible with the resources above.

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