C+S April 2022 Vol. 8 Issue 4 (web)

Attracting more women to the construction industry involves not only creating the paths and environment to be successful, but also showing those paths as a viable option to young people. Many efforts to recruit women into the AEC industry begin at the college level. However, Williams believes that this focus needs to be directed towards high school and college students. By showing these young women what it means to work in the construction industry and showing that it is a vi- able option, they are introduced to the industry’s impact on everyday life sooner and will be motivated to enter. This perspective is unique in that it puts DEI practices in a practical framework. Unlike many industries, construction and the whole AEC impact the lives of every single person in a given place. Whether it is a bridge deck being replaced or a new set of public bathrooms being installed at a park, the design and construction of these proj- ects has implications for those that live in the communities. These DEI practices are put to use as a diversity of representation becomes diversity of thought, and the processes that need to take place for projects to be completed come from a perspective that is much more representative of the communities in which they exist. For Williams, underrepresented groups such as women and women of color are a key missing piece of these processes.

Every group deserves representation, and this mindset can be used to approach the problems that the industry faces. Well designed and implemented DEI practices are important not only for business devel - opment, but also the development of the industry. Williams is quick to point out that the industry is currently experiencing a labor short - age, and that the best and most equitable way to fix it is to encourage more women to join the industry. Williams’ solution to the labor shortage highlights the importance of this moment for the industry. As the decisions are being made that will shape the industry for the next generation, it is important to point out that many issues the in - dustry now faces are a direct result of a lack of representation. Thus, moving forward, it is important that we vigorously work to include these groups so that the inequities of the past can be addressed and avoided to move the industry forward.

LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.





april 2022

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