Culture of CARE & Women’s History Month – AGC of Washington is looking forward to a new year of supporting Culture of CARE programs for the construction industry. 2023 is a chance to continue our commitment to providing diversity & inclusion resources. Each month, you can expect cultural observance month digests to help you celebrate the diversity that is making your company stronger and healthier.
March is Women’s History Month: Beginning in New York City on March 8, 1857 during one of the first strikes by working women and later was petitioned to make the entire month of March recognized as Women’s History Month in 1987. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the economic, political, and social contributions of women in the construction industry, and to highlight the skill of women and women-owned businesses contribution to construction projects across the nation. Notable dates during Women’s History Month include International Women’s Day occurring on Wednesday, March 8 and Women in Construction Week occurring March 5 – 11.
Ideas for Celebrating Women’s History Month in the Construction Workplace
- Conduct a jobsite Toolbox Talk
- Distribute a statement from your leadership
- Share Women History and accomplishments from the construction industry
- Celebrate your women-owned, women-led partnering organizations by highlighting their accomplishments
- Order lunch for your crew from a local women-owned restaurateur – Find on Yelp or Intentionalist
- Commit to interviewing NEW women-owned trade partners for inclusion on your next project – links for finding new firms:
- Search AGC’s Certified-Firm list or contact
- NW Minority Builders Alliance (NWMBA)
- National Association of Minority Contractors – Washington (NAMC-WA )
- Don’t limit yourself or your company to March! Women’s History Month is important every day.
- Review your celebration plan: Celebrate International Women’s Day by Focusing on Workplace Inclusion (shrm.org)
- Women’s History Month ideas: 22 Best Women’s History Month Ideas For Work in 2023
- Improving hiring practices: Top 20 HR Best Practices for Diversity
- Toolbox talk addressing sexism: How to Speak Up
- Explore inclusion training: Respect, Inclusion, Safety and Equity in the Construction Trades – jobsite training
- Sisters in the Brotherhood: A Film About Women Carpenters – YouTube
- Building the American Dream documentary: Building The American Dream
Community Events for Women in Construction Week:
- The National Association of Women in Construction Schedule of Events March 5 – 11, 2023
- Empower Women’s Conference – March 9, 2023
- Sheet Metal Workers Celebrate Women in Construction – March 8, 2023
- Check out your local association or union for other upcoming events!
Notable Women History in Construction
1843 – 1903: Emily Roebling is well-known for her contributions to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, acting as a supervisor on the jobsite when her husband fell ill.
1898: First women architect, Ethel Charles, to gain professional recognition in architecture when she was admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architecture
1935: Margaret Ellings was the first woman to join the United Brotherhood of Carpenters
1953: Women in Construction of Fort Worth is founded by local women
1954: Norma Sklarek became first registered black female architect in New York and continued to break many barriers throughout her career, later becoming the only black women elected to the American Institute of Architecture and first black women to co-own an architectural practice with two other women.
1955: Fort Worth Association becomes National Association of Women in Construction
1991: National Association of Black Women in Construction formed to address unique challenges of black women in construction
1998: National Association of Women in Construction founds Women in Construction Week to strengthen and acknowledge the women in the industry
2007: Dianna Montague, “Iron Lady” Montague, was the first African-American woman in the nearly 100 year history of the Philadelphia Iron Workers Local 405 to become a member, and the first woman to complete the Union’s apprenticeship program and becoming an ironworker, a certified master in welding, rigging and rod setting.