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Women in Skilled Trades

Putting a Focus on Women on the Jobsite

If there is one thing we hear most often from manufacturers, contractors, and other trades workers, it’s this: We can hardly find people to fill the well-paying jobs we have to offer.

With the U.S. job market being tighter today than it has been at any time in the past 20 years, manufacturers and contractors report having significant difficulty finding people to fill career-worthy jobs at their organizations. That’s why the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and CONEXPO-CON/AGG have put such a focus on developing strategies and partnerships to recruit women into the traditionally male-dominated industry.

One of those partnerships involves CONEXPO-CON/AGG teaming with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Women of Asphalt (WofA). Together, they will highlight women in the construction industry at the upcoming show March 10-14 in Las Vegas.

“As the largest construction industry-focused trade show in North America, CONEXPO-CON/AGG seeks to draw attention to and celebrate the important role women play in the industry,” said Dana Wuesthoff, vice president of expositions and event services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and CONEXPO-CON/AGG show director. “Working together, CONEXPO-CON/AGG, NAWIC, and WofA will not only showcase women industry leaders, but reinforce the career growth potential for women, who today represent a small percentage of the workforce and the opportunity to diversify the industry.”

What to expect

Convention events highlighting and encouraging women in construction will include:

  • Genders on the Jobsite: A Breakfast Event at 9 a.m. on March 11 will feature Vicki O’Leary, founder of Be That One Guy, and Lorien Barlow, director and producer of the documentary “Hard Hatted Woman.”
  • New Approaches to Building Female Construction Leaders at 1 p.m. on March 11 will feature Bridgit CEO and co-founder Mallorie Brodie, a member of Forbes’ 2019 Manufacturing and Industry “30 Under 30.”
  • Widening Your Workforce: Executive Lunch Forum at 11:30 a.m. on March 13 will feature an executive panel of four different women leaders discussing how to open the door to a wider workforce base.

“According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, women make up only 9 percent of the total workers in construction,” said Chrissy Ingram, Executive Administrator of NAWIC National. “As our industry continues to grapple with a labor shortage, women are poised to help play a greater role in all areas of construction. By teaming with CONEXPO-CON/AGG, organizations like NAWIC and WofA can help women thrive in a male-dominated industry.”

“Our industry and our companies all benefit from a diverse workforce,” said Amy Miller, P.E., president of WofA. “Through Women of Asphalt, we are looking to fulfill industry workforce needs by engaging with women at schools, through our podcast, and via in-person events to show them all they can achieve with a career in the asphalt industry.”

Another major addition to CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the inaugural Workforce Solutions Area in the Festival Grounds Lot. AEM has teamed with industry associations, educational institutions, youth organizations, and heavy equipment manufacturers to showcase industry-wide best practices for recruiting and engaging youths, veterans, and other under-employed groups. 

These organizations will highlight trade skills to over 1,000 students and provide attendees with industry-best recruitment information they can implement immediately after returning from CONEXPO-CON/AGG.For more information and to register for sessions, visit www.conexpoconagg.com.

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