Women should know their place. For a very long time, they simply didn’t.
Through fearless sacrifice and advocation, support by men and women brave enough to stand for equality, and tireless work on all sides, women are now recognized and respected in nearly every field of work available.
With help from organizations like NAWIC and the unwavering support of employers who believe in them, women are able to be heard, and to make a real difference in a field that literally changes the face of the world.
March is Women’s History Month, and we wanted to take a moment to recognize the history in the making taking place through NAWIC, and our own Karli Meisinger, who is NAWIC’s local chapter president.
What is NAWIC?
NAWIC, or the National Association of Women in Construction, is an organized effort to improve the position of women in the construction workforce. Through education opportunities, advocacy, and support, the core movement of the association is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry.
Their goal isn’t to stand on a podium and preach to women about what they should be doing, rather, these women live and work in the field, coaching, mentoring, and lifting one another.
“We have had an amazing year,” Karli told me, “Omaha hosted our Midwest Region Spring Forum in April of 2017 with over 100 members from the region attending. All 21 chapters were represented and National President Connie Lepard as well as National Treasurer Anne Pfleger were in attendance.”
“We got a construction tour of projects going on at the zoo and had an amazing two days of educational sessions. In August I was able to represent our chapter at NAWIC’s Annual Meeting and Educational Conference in Anaheim. Our chapter received the national award for Outstanding Website.”
Karli and the local team stay ahead of every opportunity to engage within the community, as well as on the national level.
While you hear statistics about the wage gap and the lack of equal pay for equal work, the construction field has one of the narrowest pay gaps nationally, with women taking home an average of 95.7% of what men take home.
While the pay gap is narrow, women comprise a mere 9.1% of the construction workforce. NAWIC hopes to create an awareness of opportunities for women through networking events, conferences, and small events like “take a young woman to work day”, for which Karli brought her young niece, Kiera.
Karli knows that every event matters, because every voice matters. Each outing and workshop is an opportunity to reach one more change maker in the making. The chapter started small, and has continued to expand through workshops, local events, and education opportunities.
“Our chapter has been growing, we currently have 39 active members. We sold out our annual golf outing fundraiser last August and were able to award $7,000 in scholarships to young men and women in the construction industry through college and through trade apprenticeship programs.”
“In January we hosted our annual Block Kids building competition to introduce K-6 children to careers in construction. This a completely free event for participants and we can accommodate up to 100 students.”
Women in Construction Week
March was full of events celebrating the accomplishments of women, with one very special week dedicated to the work of Women in Construction. The women used this opportunity to do what they do best, be the change.
From signing a proclamation at the Capitol to volunteering their time at the local food bank, they were seen, heard, and their impact felt by a community that is deeply grateful for their contributions.
Eyman is proud to support NAWIC, and for a future designed around open communication, outreach, and opportunities for all!