Builder Chicks represents the day-to-day needs of women in the construction industry. We offer the latest building news, links to educational resources and job boards. We bring you stories related to developments that affect all construction workers. Enjoy your first cup of morning coffee with Builder Chicks.


Looking for Green Jobs?

So are we!

Last year, the White House designated $500 million dollars to bring green job opportunities to the nation's rising unemployed workers.

That’s quite a chunk of change and we should be able to look around and see at least a little benefit in some sectors. Problem is, no one’s seeing it.

Claudia Rowe, from the Institute of Southern Studies, asks the administration, “Where are the Green Jobs?”

Now, a full year later, record numbers of workers are still unemployed and the green jobs are nowhere to be found.

Construction Opportunities for Women on the Rise?

With the coming retirement of the Baby Boomers, economists predict a rise in demand for jobs in the trades industries, specifically in construction.

Needless to say, this opens a whole new vista for females wanting to build careers in construction.

Business Global suggests an average skilled electrician can make approximately $70,000 a year, depending upon where she lives.

For young women thinking about a career in the construction industry, now is the time to starting paving the road to a fulfilling career.

Take math and construction-related courses, learn the business end of running a contracting company and work on a jobsite whenever possible.

When the next wave of demand for construction workers hit - you'll ride the wave with ease.

What's Your Management Style?

I’m lucky enough to know a few dozen female contractors, through years of networking, conventions and late night phone calls. At a dinner in NYC a few years ago, the topic came up about the differences between male and female contractors on a construction project. 

While everyone had a slightly different experience, one aspect was common, the women dropped small hints to the workers once or twice before coming right out and stating what was wanted.

One contractor shared her story of trying to get a young male carpenter to take more time on his finish work. She would inspect the job with him in tow, talking pleasantly but pausing to notice a rough spot on wood trim or to run her fingers over a hole the carpenter forgot to fill. It was her hope that the young man would see that she was discovering these small flaws and pay more attention to his work.

Unfortunately, the carpenter did not change. His work wasn’t poor, but it lacked finesse. Finally, the contractor took him aside and mentioned the problem. The young man was surprised. When told that she had tried to get the point across to him by touching or feeling the errors, he admitted that the hints had gone right over his head. He never made the connection.

The rest of the women contractors could identify with that and they all shared similar stories. 

Why do we feel the need to hint around before getting to the point? Maybe something we learned a long time ago about not hurting anyone’s feelings. 

At any rate, it’s counterproductive and can detract from the construction project. So the next time you’re inclined to drop a hint, don’t waste your time. Point out the problem and offer a solution. You’ll save time and that will save money.

Starting Young in Construction with Block Kids

The Santa Clara chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) recently sponsored a LEGO building competition for students in grades first through sixth.

The children were allowed 45 minutes in which to create their architectural masterpieces with one hundred LEGO blocks, a rock, a piece of string and a bit of foil. Through imagination and a fun hands-on activity, children, both girls and boys, got the opportunity to experience the thrill of designing and constructing their own project.

The kids of today are the architects, contractors and carpenters of the future.

To arrange for a Block Kids Building Day in your community, contact the NAWIC, for more information.