by Anne Pfleger
Construction is the only industry that encompasses almost every professional discipline. Literally every career sector is available to you: trades, project management, administration, law, finance, insurance…the list is virtually endless. The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) brings together women from each of these career sectors to strengthen and amplify their success in the construction industry.
In a recent interview with one of NAWIC’s association partners, I was asked, “Has the prevalence of women in the construction industry changed since you joined NAWIC?” My response was, “YES!” The industry has changed in the sense that construction is no longer a male “dominated” industry but a male “populated” industry. Women are often seen in the forefront of construction, both in the field with boots on the ground and sitting at the table, impacting the direction of the construction industry.
An essential purpose of NAWIC is to build leaders for the construction industry. With over 66 years of experience, NAWIC continues to provide support to thousands of members and helps them flourish both professionally and personally. This is done by providing educational programs, networking, leadership and community involvement at the chapter, regional and national levels.
One of NAWIC’s main annual events is Women in Construction (WIC) Week. The event, which started in 1998, highlights women as a key component in the construction industry. This year, chapters across the country will be celebrating WIC Week March 7-13 with the theme, Connect-Collaborate-Construct. Chapters will host a variety of events spanning from education and awareness, networking, and community service.
With the pandemic going on, chapters are thinking outside the box to get together and celebrate safely. Some of these activities are virtual scavenger hunts, recorded videos passing the hammer to sister chapters in their region, drone jobsite tours, virtual happy hours, adopt-a-highway programs, and more. The hashtag #WICWEEK2021 will also have a strong social media presence with information about WIC Week activities, posts highlighting women in the construction industry, blogs, ads, interviews, and articles.
In addition to WIC Week and monthly chapter meetings, NAWIC hosts two conferences in each of the eight regions, one in the fall and one in the spring. On the national level, the annual conference is currently scheduled to take place in-person Aug. 11-14 in Charlotte, N.C. Something new this year will be a virtual component, which will include live and/or recordings of all general sessions, keynotes, National Board installation, awards gala, and with the support of our annual conference sponsors, possibly the breakout sessions.
One of my goals as NAWIC National president and as a woman in construction is to be a conduit to CONNECT and communicate COLLABORATIVELY to have the conversations to CONSTRUCT the best course of action for women in the construction industry. WIC Week is the perfect opportunity to do this.
Anne Pfleger, CIT is the 2020-2021 national president of NAWIC and has been working in the construction industry for over 25 years.