March is Women’s History Month, celebrating the achievements of women in history, culture and modern society. NAHB’s Professional Women in Building (PWB) Council began the celebration early by chartering three new councils during its recent annual board of trustees meeting at the International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando. NAHB's PWB community has expanded to 69 local councils and is now more than 2,500 members strong.
The action also supports a growing network of female professionals involved in the home building industry and highlights workforce development efforts aimed at spotlighting the number of opportunities available for women in the field.
PWB leadership welcomed councils from the Greensboro Builders Association in North Carolina, the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA), and the West Texas Home Builders Association (WTHBA). Those involved in the local councils said the move comes at a perfect time to showcase the efforts aimed at combating the ongoing skilled labor shortage.
“We want to focus on building greater awareness of career opportunities for women in the industry through leadership, professional development, networking and mentoring programs,” said Cheryl Collins, executive officer at the Greensboro Builders Association.
“I'm a big believer in creating communities among our larger membership. The new PWB council gives a dynamic community within our industry a place to call home within our HBA,” added Aimee Bertrand, executive vice president and CEO at the GHBA.
“I hope this will be a launching pad for those members who have been less involved to find paths to greater involvement in the association, and I also have no doubt that this group will do a tremendous amount for the reach of our HBA’s charity, mentoring and networking,” Bertrand added, noting the local council was chartered with more than 120 members.
Gena Godinez, executive officer at WTHBA, said her local is excited to transition their longtime Women's Auxiliary Group to one of the newest NAHB PWB Councils.
“We have already seen an increase in membership due to the name change. We feel that it adds credibility to what was already a successful organization and allows these members to grow and become involved on the state and national level,” Godinez said.
Although women currently make up just under 11% of the construction workforce, a slight increase from prior years, there is still work to be done to encourage more women to pursue a career in home building. Bringing additional women into the construction labor force represents an opportunity to fill many of the vacancies necessary to keep up with the growing demand for housing.
On Wednesday, March 9, the U.S. Department of Labor will host a virtual panel discussion on women in the construction industry with an opportunity to learn more about employment opportunities for women in the field. More information is available on the registration page.
To learn more about the benefits of PWB membership, visit nahb.org.