Two traditionally male-dominated industries are closing the gender gap. As drilling and construction expand nationally and try to keep pace with staffing demands, a higher percentage of jobs are going to women.
Women Striking It Big in Oil
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 46 percent of new oil industry jobs in the first quarter of 2013 went to female candidates, according to a recent article on CNNMoney.com. While the total number of women in the oil industry may be comparatively modest, the recent change is significant. In short, women are impacting the oil drilling sector more than ever. From working on rigs, to technology and engineering roles, women are making significant inroads into a once male-dominated industry.
Breaking Down Concrete Barriers
Similarly, construction is seeing an increase in female involvement — predominantly on the entrepreneurial side. In 1997, the U.S. Census Bureau counted 152,871 women-owned construction firms. A decade later, the total had risen by 76 percent to 268,809. The gradually changing dynamic even prompted the largest female-focused training program in Minnesota to enroll women to meet contractors’ demands. The five-month program teaches female participants a variety of skills, from hands-on construction training to resume building and interviewing.
One reason why women are now turning to these industries may be the government requirement for minimum percentages of women (typically 15 – 25 percent) on government projects. Savvy female job seekers are capitalizing on the requirement to go to work. And as baby boomers move into retirement, new opportunities are becoming available.
With higher employment demand in two expanding industries, women seeking work are finding more open doors in drilling and construction. If the current trend continues, women may close the gender gap altogether.