At OE, our commitment to seeing more women choose to get into the construction industry isn’t just lip service.
“…according to the Peterson Institute, companies who were in the top 25% in gender diversity of their workforce were 46% more likely to outperform their industry average.” (Source)
Let’s not forget that construction jobs are some of the best paying career options out there, with salaries ranging up over $80K per year. Despite this, there is an industry wide presence of women of only 9% of the total workforce. That’s a low figure and we aim to do our part to change this.
At OE, we recognize the need for diversity: it benefits us, it benefits our industry and the economy as a whole. We also recognize that there are barriers to women entering the construction industry, not the least of which is perception. Bias in hiring and toxic work cultures aren’t unheard of either.
The kind of shift that is needed to create a more diverse work environment is the kind of change that only happens when the company as a whole sees the benefit. At OE Construction, we believe in a gender balanced workforce that better reflects our society.
OE attended last year’s Construction Girl’s event in September, as a sponsor and exhibitor. We discovered that so many of our customers are involved in this event each year, including Wagner Equipment, that we wanted to do more to educate young people about the career opportunities in construction.
We will be hosting a group of 12 young women for the day, on July 19th, to show them the ins and outs of roles that are available at OE Construction. This Career Day event happens over the course of one week, where girls—ranging from eighth grade to 20 years old—make five stops at different companies to engage with team members, ask questions and tour work sites. The four other companies for this session are Fiore, Brannan Sand and Gravel, Adolph & Peterson and Swinerton —but it’s our goal to be the best of the five!
Our presentations by various staff members will include:
- Who is OE and what we do.
- Commercial and civil construction.
- An overview of various job descriptions, opportunities that exist in our industry and what skills they will need to acquire.
- A demonstration of Earthwork and 3D plans, and what all the symbols mean that are included in them.
We’ll also have a series of hands on activities for the girls to really get a sense of the work we do, starting with a review of the safety rules:
- Setting Grade, Working with Lasers & Drones
- Using Technology with Smartdirt Application
- Operating a Loader (hands-on with instructor)
- Building a Loader with Legos
Overall, it’s going to be a busy day of activity, learning and networking, demonstrating to all the participants that ours is an industry worth considering! This is one of the many activities we aim to participate in each year, with a view to educating young people—men and women—about the career opportunities in construction.