Paving the Way for Women in Construction
It’s not unheard of to have women in construction trade jobs like asphalt manufacturing, construction, and paving industries, but it’s still not common either. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “only 9% of U.S. construction workers are women.”
Through her work as Founding Chairwoman of the Women of Asphalt – Minnesota/Dakota Branch, our co-owner and President Carmie Mick is dedicated to helping lead and inspire women in the asphalt industry and more broadly advancing trade jobs for women.
“We want to see more women represented in all aspects of work with asphalt and construction,” she emphasizes. “There are always roads, highways, paths, and parking lots to build and pave. It’s good, steady work that pays well, and women should be a bigger part of that productive workforce.”
According to Intuit MintLife, construction managers and construction inspectors are two of the 22 highest-paying trade jobs in 2022.
The Work of Women of Asphalt
A group of women in the asphalt industry working together nationally through the national Women of Asphalt organization (WofA) founded the Minnesota/Dakota Branch with the Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association (MAPA) as our affiliated state association.
Sharing more about why she helped found the branch, Carmie Mick elaborates, “It’s so important not only to serve as role models, create a community, and provide tangible support specifically for women, but also to keep them connected to the broader industry as a whole. Eventually, it will not seem like an anomaly to see women in trades like construction management and in road crews doing the asphalt paving.”
Build a Community of and for Women
Just like the firsts in any field, leading women of asphalt and construction feel a responsibility to inspire others. One way that happens is by spending time together in the field at events like the Martin Marietta Plant Tour the organization held over the summer.
“There’s something powerful about gathering women together from across the region and industry,” Carmie asserts. “We hear first-hand how we can further support women of asphalt and across construction trades, and feel the potential of the impact we can have for women and the trades they serve.”
Trade Jobs for Women: Mentor, Educate & Advocate
The Women of Asphalt – Minnesota/Dakota Branch helps connect members to industry events like the MAPA Annual Conference in December. It helps women in construction – both employers and job seekers – through a robust job board. It also connects with the national Women of Asphalt organization to tap into its mentorship program as a resource to encourage success.
Good Signs Ahead for Women of Asphalt
There’s so much room to grow, but the Minnesota/Dakota region is already a bright spot for women in construction and asphalt trades.
According to an article by Jonathan Jones in Construction Coverage Expert Reviews and Guides updated on April 27, 2022, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Minneapolis, MN is the number one large city for women in construction, with a female employment share in the construction industry of 19.1% compared to the 9% U.S. average.
“We’ve got a lot to be proud of and a lot to build on,” says Carmie. “We’re looking forward to helping and watching those numbers grow.”
Contact Carmie directly with questions or join WofA to get involved!