Women in Construction Keep On Building in More Ways Than One

In an industry with a chronic shortage of labor of all levels, no one in construction can afford to overlook half the population - women. Thankfully, that message seems to be loud and clear in the world of AEC these days and leaders, both men and women, are cultivating female talent.

With this in mind, the industry recently celebrated Women in Construction week and International Women’s Day, highlighting women’s inroads across the sector and underscoring the need to attract, and retain, more women in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Speaking on a recent LinkedIn Live panel for the event, Hilti Venture Director Antonia Soler Blasco emphasized the importance of mentorship and a culture of supporting women.

“Many of the things that have happened in my career have been because of mentors, colleagues and peers - you’ll find there are a lot of people rooting for you,” Blasco said.

One of the next challenges, she added, is to ensure that scaffolding is available for women at all points in their careers, not just senior leadership

“Especially now, we should think about how to create diversity at all levels - management, advisory and entry level employees“ to build a robust pipeline of talent, Blasco said

Recruiters say that companies are also realizing the value of diversity in achieving business objectives.

“I always encourage hiring from multiple different sources, which creates a diversity of experiences and thought,” said fellow panelist Lucie Wright, head of strategy for careers and pipeline at CITB, the industry training board for the construction sector in England, Scotland, and Wales.

“Diversity makes the difference between a successful business rocketing up and those that become more stagnant,” Wright said.

Hilti Venture’s Blasco, together with Julieta Moradei, managing partner at Overlay Capital Build, co-founded Women in Construction Tech in 2021 with the goal of creating more opportunities and relationships for women driving innovation in the sector.

Blasco has said that the idea for the association sprang, in part, from discussions she had at BuiltWorlds' Venture East that year and in fact several of BuiltWorlds’ 2022 events played a role in launching the network.

In the video below, we revisit the launch conversations and lessons learned from Blasco, Moradei and other women leading in the space: