InterCoast Colleges Joins NAWIC
InterCoast is happy to announce its membership in the National Association of Women in Construction, or NAWIC. This partnership will allow InterCoast to join NAWIC in improving the position of women in the construction industry by educating a new generation of women workers in skilled construction trades.
Some people think women aren’t interested in construction, or that women are naturally less able to do construction jobs. Since 1978 the federal government has been working to integrate women into the construction industry, but despite their best efforts, women still only make up about three percent of construction workers.
NAWIC believes women are just as capable as men of working in construction jobs. That’s why they’re working with schools like InterCoast to sponsor scholarships for female students interested in construction trades.
What is NAWIC?
NAWIC is an organization that forms a support network and source of organization for women in all branches of construction. Their core purpose is to enhance the role of women in the construction industry. Through professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service, and other activities, NAWIC works to improve women’s presence and conditions in the industry.
NAWIC started out with only 16 women in 1953. At that time, the organization was known as Women in Construction of Fort Worth, Texas. It wasn’t long before this support network of women workers became successful and began to spread to other cities. By 1955 the organization gained a national charter and became known as the National Association of Women in Construction. Since then, the network has worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions and opportunities for women in the construction industry.
We won’t sugar-coat it for you: women face challenges in construction. In a field made up of 97 percent male workers, women in construction can go full days without seeing another female worker. Sexual harassment and sexist attitudes are something women can encounter almost anywhere, especially on a construction site. Some men don’t want women working in “their” industry, and some will be wary of a woman until she’s proven herself.
It’s not that all the men in construction are bad, or that they have it out for women. It’s just that in an industry that’s mostly male, it’s easier for a bad man to give a female worker a hard time.
NAWIC works to help women who are working with these problems. Progress has been made in other male-dominated industries, such as the military and law enforcement. Women are proving that they can do anything men can do in all industries, and construction is no exception. Tell a woman she can’t do something, and she’ll prove to you she can.
Now, why are we talking about this? Because organizations like NAWIC are changing the status quo. They are working to make the construction more free and equal for men and women. By partnering with NAWIC, InterCoast College is working to make a better future for women in the construction industry.
Construction isn’t Just for Men!
Still, there is a lot of progress to be made to create a more equal construction industry. People might say things like, “Construction is men’s work.” Maybe they’ll say women simply aren’t interested in construction work. Maybe they’ll say women physically aren’t built to do the kind of labor construction calls for.
These are the same kinds of things people have always said to keep women out of industries that “aren’t meant for women.” InterCoast College knows that these things aren’t true and that there is a new generation of women ready to prove they can do construction work just as well as any man.
Why should women be interested in construction work? First off, because there is a massive demand for new workers in construction. Second, because women in construction industries will help close the wage gap between men and women. Let’s take a closer look at both of these reasons.
The construction industry is facing a crisis in the next decade, with 12 percent of construction workers being expected to leave the industry in the next five years. An older generation of construction workers is retiring, and there is a shortage of new workers to replace them. This means there is high demand for construction workers, leading to high wages and competitive benefits for anyone interested in these jobs. Specialized construction work, such as plumbing, can bring even higher average salaries.
Job openings are important to everyone, but the wage gap is something every woman should care about. On average, women earn 25 percent less than men. However, one reason for this is that traditionally “feminine” jobs aren’t paid as well as “masculine” ones. Child care workers, hair stylists, home health aides, housekeepers, and cashiers are paid less on average than “male” workers like house painters, construction laborers, carpenters, and plumbers.
When a woman works in a traditionally male-dominated field, she earns on average 25.9 percent more than other women. (That works both ways, by the way: a man working in a female-dominated field earns 12.5 percent less than other men, on average.) So when women move into construction or other traditionally male-dominated industries, they are not only earning more for themselves, but they’re also working to make a more equal construction industry for all women.
Partnership with NAWIC Means Scholarships Opportunities for InterCoast Students
So what does all of this mean for women who are considering coming to school at InterCoast College? NAWIC is working to make a more integrated construction industry, and one of the ways they’re doing that is by sponsoring scholarships for female students who are interested in pursuing careers in construction.
If you are a woman who is considering a career in construction, talk to an admissions representative for InterCoast College. We’ll help you find out which scholarships you might be qualified for, guide you through the admissions process, and put you on the way to a successful career in construction. Give our admissions office a call or send us an email today to get started. We look forward to hearing from you soon.