NewsWomen's History Month


Women break barriers, inspire others in construction

In the past decade, the trade industry has seen a 53% increase in women
Posted at 7:57 AM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 08:57:36-04

STURTEVANT, Wis. — The number of women in the construction and trades industry is slowly growing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the past decade, the trade industry has seen a 53% increase in women but despite that growth, they still make up a small percentage of the workforce of construction workers.

According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women make up 10.9% of construction workers. It's a statistic that Amanda Kurt, the Vice President and Project Manager of Kirk Inc. said she hopes will change in the future.

"We are heavily male-dominated, but I would love to see more women in the concrete industry," said Kurt. "There’s so many opportunities for women in construction, and some of them are on-site physical labor type positions but there’s also a variety of positions in office settings or maybe a combination type settings."

As the work is being done on the ground, Kurt is one of many women in Wisconsin who are building a better future by breaking barriers in the construction industry.

"In my opinion, I think, adding women to your team is just helpful because we just see things a little differently... we just have a different outlook on projects, on life," she said.

For Maretes Hein, the owner, and founder of COR Improvements, is also advocating for more diversity and women in the workforce. She said in her experience as a woman, wives and significant others of other construction workers have found comfort with Hein being on-site or being involved with projects.

"There's a lot of men that know to communicate very well but it's the way that we (women) listen, and the way that we speak to each other," said Hein.

The company now focuses primarily on remodeling and general contract project management for kitchen and bathroom renovations but Maretes said when she initially started in the industry, she faced many challenges as a woman in the field.

"At first it was hard I always felt like I was giving my résumé. I was constantly having to prove myself," said Hein.

However, despite the bumps in the road, she kept working and persevered through it. Now she is helping other women in the industry as a member of the National Women in Construction Milwaukee Chapter. Hein said having a solid support system and member mentorship is key.

Both Kurt and Hein say women belong in the industry because the women in construction are strong and resilient, intelligent, and know how to push past adversity.

To learn more about Kurk Inc. click here.
To learn more about COR Improvements, click here

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