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Let’s Hear It for Women in Construction!

ODG and firms nationwide will celebrate Women in Construction Week March 5-11.  

Seventy years ago, in Fort Worth, Texas, 16 women working in the overwhelmingly male construction industry formed a networking group that, two years later, became a national organization that is still going strong today.  

The National Association of Women in Construction, chartered in 1955, now supports more than 115 U.S. chapters and several international affiliates. For decades NAWIC has celebrated Women in Construction Week (WIC), promoting the role of women in the industry and encouraging others to join the ranks. Held the first full week of March – this year March 5-11 – WIC features presentations in high schools, job site tours, luncheons, and a host of virtual events aimed at inspiring and applauding women in the industry. 

While they amount to nearly half of the country’s total workforce, women comprised only 10.9 percent of the construction industry in 2022. That may soon change, as job opportunities for women in the field are on the rise, and the gender pay gap is considerably smaller than in the broader workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women in the U.S. make 82.9 percent of what men earn. In construction, however, they bring home 96 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.  

This year’s WIC theme, Many Paths, One Mission, will highlight the various journeys individuals have undertaken to amplify the success of women in construction. At ODG, we look forward to celebrating the dedicated, successful women in our own organization and throughout the industry, as they continue to overcome challenges and make invaluable contributions.  

HOW ODG SUPPORTS SUCCESS 

As part of our ongoing campaign, we sat down and asked a couple of our Women in Construction what they enjoy about their work and any advice they would give. Here is what they had to say:  

“I am a leader in the field with mostly men, but I feel like we are all family in a way. I could not do my job well without them. They all respect me. I am grateful we all have the benefits of a big company without getting lost as a number. I feel like we are all really tight and close. GO ODI!”

Erin Thomas, Field Superintendent, Old Dominion Insulation

“I like the union there is between all of us and how they respect us at The Old Dominion Group”

Michael Serrano, Insulator, Old Dominion Insulation  

“Don’t be afraid of it. It can be a little intimidating going into a male dominated field, but the guys are actually really receptive about having you there. They like to have your input.”

-Anna Swanson, Project Engineer, The Old Dominion Group

 “What I like about being a Women in Construction is that we can be very professional people in what we do. The company shows how much they care about us. I have worked here for 17 years and I am very proud to be a part of ODG.”

Onelia Aldana, Foreman, Old Dominion Insulation 

“With The Old Dominion Group, I like that they have women to do these very tough jobs, I do not feel alone. I love how our coworkers and the company respect us more than anything.”

Mariyuri Lira, Insulator, Old Dominion Insulation 

“I like the work I do with ICRA and the coordination. I know it is important work but I am happy everyone is willing to help me out. I work with great people and that is why I love what I do.”

Mersi Florian Hernandez, Field Technician, Old Dominion Healthcare Services 

It’s great to hear what makes them so passionate and it’s important to hear their experiences as Construction isn’t an easy industry for Women to enter. In a field where males are dominant, ODG takes pride to have Women in our ranks at all levels within the company. Women in Construction make our workforce stronger and more diverse and that is worth celebrating.