Women Who Wear Hard Hats
Going Against the Grain Paves the way for Women in Construction
Jordan Foster’s entrepreneurial culture creates a healthy work environment that celebrates diversity and breaks down barriers for future generations.
By Taylor Mathews, Risk Analyst
Mar 8, 2023
Construction has historically been known as one of the most male-dominated industries in the world with less than 14% of the total construction workforce being female, and with a majority of those in administrative roles. While women are underrepresented in the trades, statistics show that more women are now pursuing careers in the construction industry. At Jordan Foster Construction (JFC) female project engineers, project managers, equipment operators, and safety professionals are some of our fastest growing new team members. JFC intentionally promotes and creates an inclusive environment for women, both in the offices and in the field. This rapid growth of women working in construction and the trades is breaking down gender barriers and bringing a new perspective to the construction industry.
Emily Roebling Trailblazes Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Two trailblazing women in the late 1800s paved the way for women today. Emily Roebling was recognized as one of the first woman field engineers. She played an essential role in the construction and completion of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, and Emily was the first to walk across it.
First Professionally Recognized Architect – Ethel Charles
In 1898, Ethel Charles was the first woman architect who gained professional recognition and was admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects. In the 1930s, many Americans still held an old-fashioned belief that women were seen as incapable of working in industrial jobs or doing heavy labor. Yet by 1943, thousands of women worked in industrial yards across the country, doing jobs traditionally held by men. Women operated cranes, worked as riveters and welders, playing a key role in many other industrious jobs. These women continue to stand as role models, encouraging more and more women to pursue rewarding careers in the trades.
The misconception that construction is a “mans-world” is being challenged by construction companies across the globe, where most have created company-wide Women in Construction committees and promotional initiatives. At Jordan Foster Construction we are directly challenging outdated stereotypes and the notion that women don’t belong in construction. One percent of women hold senior leadership positions across the construction industry. Tricia Kagerer, Executive Vice President of Risk Management, at Jordan Foster Construction falls into that 1%. Tricia Kagerer is a leader in a historically male-dominated industry, and she tells us “Those days are over” where women struggled developing rewarding careers in construction and navigating the executive ranks. At Jordan Foster Construction, Tricia leads the effort to build on Jordan Foster’s entrepreneurial culture along with the company’s leadership development, field safety training, and worker health programs. Combined, these programs create a healthy work environment that celebrates diversity and breaks down barriers for future generations. Tricia speaks nationally on these topics and wrote a pioneering women’s leadership book, The B-Words: 13 Words Every Women Must Navigate for Success. JFC plans to continue to intentionally grow and cultivate its Women in Construction Initiative this year through events and outreach ensuring that the focus on Women leadership in construction becomes a years-long initiative.
In 2023, Women in Construction Week is March 6th – March 10th. Jordan Foster Construction is sponsoring a luncheon in El Paso in collaboration with the El Paso Association of Contractors (EPAC) at the El Paso Community Foundation. JFC will also be hosting a Charity Craft Fair Auction in April and is planning many other events in collaboration with local organizations and universities. As JFC continues to grow and expand the reach of our Women in Construction initiative, and we hope to shed a positive light on the women of JFC the communities we serve.
If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with Taylor Mathews.