The number of women employed in the construction industry has steadily increased throughout the last decade, and data trends do not see this growth slowing. Despite the rising numbers, women still represent only 9.1% of the construction industry at the end of 2016 as reported by The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). This equates to almost one million women in the U.S. construction workforce. 

Like the industry at large, Shiel Sexton has also had a rise in female employees. Since 2008, the number of women employed by Shiel Sexton has increased by 250%. Currently, more than 50 women hold a variety of roles throughout the company from leaders to field forces. Recognizing that the construction industry has not always been a welcoming work environment for women, Shiel Sexton’s leaders wanted to ensure that women were supported as they pursue their career aspirations by establishing an in-house support organization, with similar goals to those at a national level, such as NAWIC. 

Creation of Shiel Sexton’s Women’s Networking Group emerged from the increasing number of female employees and leaders. The group’s objective is to give women a platform to share their experiences, provide resources, and establish a mentorship program. The inaugural event occurred in June with a luncheon and panel discussion consisting of three of Shiel Sexton’s veteran female employees.

Kris Altice, Shiel Sexton General Counsel and one of the leaders of the Women’s Networking Group, offered her insight on the importance of the group: 

“Having worked in the industry for a long time, I’ve seen how construction companies have changed from a predominately male environment to one with an increasing number of women. It is not the rough and tumble business it used to be.  Despite the lack of role models, women continue to step into roles that were traditionally held by men. The Shiel Sexton Women’s Networking Group provides a space where women can talk about their career aspirations, seek out advice and find a mentor.  The enthusiasm of the group is contagious!”

Shiel Sexton is committed to encouraging every employee to take the next step toward advancement in their career and is proud to have developed a program specific to inspiring women to feel confident in their abilities and their futures.

The SCOOP | June 2018 | More from this issue