We’ve been so inspired by all of the prominent women we’ve profiled this week. It has led to a lot of internal discussion and we thought – why not share that discussion with you? For our bonus segment, please enjoy the perspective of our female recruiters – Wendy Zang, Lindsey Johnson & Aubrey Allen – on Women in Construction Week!
1. What is your experience as a female recruiter in the construction industry?
At times, there are candidates who feel more comfortable opening up about motivations and life experiences to female recruiters, and this has allowed us to hone in on soft skills and cultural fit which are extremely important to a successful placement. On the flipside, from the lack of female representation in the construction industry, there can also be candidates who assume we don’t have a strong knowledge of it. Through our process and time spent building relationships with candidates, we’re able to gain their respect – but that’s still a process; one that’s evolving with every conversation.
2. How do you support gender equality in the workplace?
From an external standpoint, we work closely with clients to help them understand the importance of a diverse candidate pool. We are very proactive in networking to ensure we’re presenting a balanced slate of candidates. Because we’re actively reaching out to women, we’re able to overcome the hurdle of female professionals frequently undervaluing their skillset and experience. Bringing them to the table as viable candidates is the first step to greater individual self-confidence and workplace gender equality.
3. What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
Some of it is systemic, especially with the schedules and time constraints / expectations in the construction industry, and some of it is simply a lack of awareness and miscommunication from both genders. However, the most significant barrier is that there’s no easy solution. There’s no one thing a company or individual could do that would suddenly open the floodgates for women to advance into leadership positions. We all have to work on eliminating unconscious bias, and ask the more difficult questions to bring both men and women out of their comfort zones.
4. What advice would you give to women who are trying to break into or advance in the industry?
There are a lot of people out there, like us, who support you and are rooting for you. Build yourself a support system, lean on them, and find your true voice. We encourage you to communicate genuinely and with confidence even when you’re questioning yourself. Don’t be afraid to go for it!
Thank you for engaging us this week! We look forward to continuing the conversation and closing the gap in gender equality!