Citation
Perceptions of the Work Environment for Women in Construction

Material Information

Title:
Perceptions of the Work Environment for Women in Construction
Creator:
Stanley, Jennifer
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (90 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.B.C.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Building Construction
Committee Chair:
Hinze, Jimmie W.
Committee Co-Chair:
Issa, R. Raymond
Committee Members:
Lucas, Elmer
Graduation Date:
8/7/2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Business structures ( jstor )
Construction industries ( jstor )
Employee supervision ( jstor )
Employment discrimination ( jstor )
Estimators ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Professional associations ( jstor )
Project management ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Womens studies ( jstor )
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
barriers, nontradtional, perception, policies, structures, women
Greater Orlando ( local )
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.

Notes

Abstract:
While women continue to enter the construction industry, this segment of employees is not as significantly involved in the industry as male employees. Many factors are relevant when explaining why this disjointedness occurs, some of which can be contributed to the general culture of the construction industry. Three of the major factors that come into play are barriers, organizational structures and policies in the workplace. The barriers include such issues as education and training of the employees and the recruitment practices of the companies. Organizational structures are primarily the location of the work, such as working at the home office or job-site, and the work hours required by the employees. Policies comprise such issues as acceptance of the women by their companies and peers as well as the opportunities for growth within their organization. Prior studies have addressed issues that women in construction have faced in Western Europe, Australia, and in some locations within the United States. Researchers have focused on perceptions of the women, both by their male counterparts and of the female worker?s satisfaction. While many of these issues are not specific to the construction industry, they significantly impact a woman?s access, achievement, and continuance in the field of construction. This study is designed to investigate the experiences of women who work in construction in the state of Florida and whether the participants have observed or experienced discriminatory practices, barriers to advancement, or general acceptance within their respective employers. Members of ten of the twelve Florida chapters of the National Association of Women in Construction comprised the stratified study to address whether the three factors of barriers, structures, and policies have impacted the participants? careers. The results were compared by analyzing the group as a whole and then by looking at the perception of a variable defined as ?Treatment.? This variable comprised issues of respect, pressure to work harder, limited opportunities within their companies, pay, and public recognition. The results determined that many of the studied variables impacted the likelihood that a subset of respondents would have a specific experience within the industry. It was also determined that such variables as education, size of the firm, and recruitment practices of the company had a statistically significant impact on the probability that the respondents would face obstacles in their careers. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local:
Adviser: Hinze, Jimmie W.
Local:
Co-adviser: Issa, R. Raymond.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-08-31
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jennifer Stanley.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Embargo Date:
8/31/2011
Resource Identifier:
004979883 ( ALEPH )
706495778 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2010 ( lcc )

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in their personal lives, such as marriages and the births of children. Many of the

candidates whose career paths were tracked experienced greater growth once they

were no longer in their childbearing years or chose to focus on their careers, but they

still encountered barriers to their upward mobility. Examples of these barriers include

such issues as long work hours, the requirement to travel for work, and discriminatory

treatment by their male managers.

Work-life tasks have been primarily attributed to being a woman's responsibility.

These tasks are defined as being mostly home-based matters, such as childcare, elder

care, and housework or chores. These tasks are ones that predominantly fall more

often on the female partner within a marriage. As women enter the workforce, not just

the construction industry, the work-life balance can be a factor in their participation in

their career path. As children become sick, parents become older, and general tasks at

home occur, women, who are considered the traditional primary caregivers, are

generally the ones who take care of these issues rather than their male partners.

It is with these tasks where the idea of human capital theory can affect the

success a female has within an industry, particularly in construction. Human capital

theory is a human resources ideology that centers on the perceived value that an

individual has to an organization. The more committed in terms of time and output the

employee offers the company, the greater value that employee is given in terms of a

company asset. While women may have the same number of hours logged, projects

managed, and profits earned as men in the workforce, the women's level of

commitment is perceived as lower especially if they are married, have children, or have

other responsibilities outside of the company. As such, they are deemed as less










34). The average opinion for the participants to this question was a 3.58, which would

fall between the "Neutral/no opinion" and "Agree" categories. The median response

was a 4 which would indicate that the respondents tended towards "Agree" for this

question.



25 -


20 -


15 -


10 -


5


0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion


Figure 4-33. I am included in company functions by my male counterparts (n=60).

The participants were asked if they believed that their supervisor was

understanding and worked with them when personal responsibilities arose. Of the 56

respondents to this question, 26 stated that they "Strongly agree," 21 "Agree," and nine

were "Neutral/no opinion" (Figure 4-35). No participants selected either "Disagree" or

"Strongly disagree" for this question. The average opinion for this question was a 4.30,

which would tend to fall into the "Agree" category on the Likert Scale for this study. The

median response was a 5, indicating "Strongly agree."









CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

The original scope of this study was to examine the experiences of women who

currently work in construction in the state of Florida by analyzing the responses

received from members of participating NAWIC chapters throughout the state. The

responses were used to gage the likelihood that the participants had encountered

barriers, organizational structures or policies and whether these obstacles had impacted

their careers. The analysis was also intended to determine whether any variables, such

as working for a specific size of construction firm or other limitations, would impact the

responses received from the participants.

When the data from the surveys were analyzed using the Pearson Correlation

analysis, the variables that were used to group the respondents were found to have

varying effects. When factors that comprised the "Treatment" variable were analyzed,

Treatment was determined to have an overall mean of 12.96. When comparing this

mean with the specific responses to other questions, many factors arose that impacted

the findings. Key findings of this analysis included:

The higher the education level of the participant, the more likely they were to report the
perception of poor treatment.

The participants who worked more than 45 hours per week reported a higher tendency
being treated poorly.

The annual volume of the employing companies did not have any significant association
with the perceived treatment of the respondents.

The size of the company based on number of employees had only a slight impact on the
perception of treatment. The participants who worked for companies with 45 or
fewer employees responded that they had a slightly higher likelihood of
experiencing poor treatment than those companies with more than 45 employees.

Participants who had a female supervisor perceived a higher level of poor treatment
than those working for a male supervisor.









APPENDIX A
SURVEY

Personal/Biographical Information
1. What is your gender?
O Male O Female
2. Years of experience within the construction industry: Years
3. Current position in company:
O Receptionist 0 Estimator
O Admin / Support 0 Project Manager
O Accounting O Business Development
D Project Engineer O Operations Manager
O Craft Worker O Executive
O Foreman O Owner
O Superintendent 0 Other
4. Education level:
O High School O Masters
O GED O PhD
O AA / AS O Other
O BA/BS
5. How did you initially enter the construction industry?
O Personal interest in the industry
O Construction is a family business
O Answered an ad for a job
O Other
6. What is your personal status?
O Single O Living with partner
O Married O Prefer not to answer
O Separated / divorced
7. How many children under the age of 18 live with you? Children
8. What is the age of your youngest child? Years
9. What is the average number of hours you work per week? Hours
10. Do you work primarily in the field or in the office?
O Field O Office
11. What type of career path do you see yourself having in the next 2 years?
0 I expect to work in the same position for the same company
O I expect to work in a different position for the same company
O I expect to work in a different position for a different construction company
O I expect to work for a firm that is not in construction
12. Will you continue to work in the construction industry?
O No O Yes
If yes, for how long? Years
13. Have you ever been treated in a manner that made you feel uncomfortable
because of your gender?
O No O Yes
Please provide a brief description:









for whom the participant worked. Without naming the company, questions from this

section included size and type of construction company in which they worked, positions

held by women in their particular company, and the composition of the company's

supervisors. Section III was a short opinion portion, with answers based on the Likert

Scale ranging from 1-Strongly Agree to 5-Strongly Disagree.

Sample Selection

Since this study was intended to survey the career experiences of women who

work in the construction industry in the Florida market, each of the NAWIC chapters

within the state was contacted. The state of Florida encompasses all of Region 3 as

organized by the national NAWIC organization. The chapters there were contacted are

listed in Table 3-1.

Table 3-1. NAWIC Chapters in the State of Florida, Region 3
Chapter Number Location Total Number of
Members
0036 Tampa 37
0041* Miami 22
0072 Tallahassee 15
0073 Greater Orlando 69
0078 Greater Ft. Lauderdale Not provided
0087 Greater Palm Beach Not provided
0284* Volusia County 14
0297 Southwest Florida 17
0317* Tri County 12
0355 Space Coast 21
0364 Greater Jacksonville 7
0372* Greater Gainesville 15
National Association of Women in Construction, www.nawic.org. An asterisk
indicates a broken electronic link provided on website. The number of members for
each chapter was provided by the Membership Chairs and / or Presidents.

Because of the NAWIC national guidelines, none of the twelve chapters were able

to provide individual email addresses. It was established with each of the chapters how

the members would be able to access the survey. For some, the surveys were sent









As an Engineer for 27 years, there are too many incidents to identify.
Starting with several professors making passes in class, other professor
point-blank telling me 'I don't think women should be engineers.' As a utility
engineer I had developers and engineers blatantly ignore me in meetings
and talk to my draftsman because obviously [he] must be the boss. Have
had senior engineers make comments in front of clients such as 'That was
a really good idea, for a girl' or 'Gee isn't it nice to have a woman treat us to
dinner' when paying a bill as any PM (Project Manager) would. There is still
quite a bit of resistance to accepting women as managers in the
construction world. While I would love to report it has changed but just a
few weeks ago I was in a very high level meeting and had a potential
investor look past me, towards one of my staff and say 'You mean SHE is
your boss?' Everyone else was floored, too, so I guess the response of
others is some progress.

Constantly feel I am held to a different standard; Being told 'when you wear
lipstick all I want to do is kiss you'; had a vendor grab my breasts and offer
me $500 to find out what I 'had under my skirt'; being told 'I don't know why
women get an education, they are just going to get pregnant and stay home
anyway'; getting less of a raise then my male counterparts.





Yes
43.7%

No
56.3%









Figure 4-14. Participants were been made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their
gender (n=64).

There were varying frequencies when participants were made to feel

uncomfortable because of their gender (Figure 4-15). The options included weekly,

monthly, a few times per year, and never. Out of the 61 responses received, 37 stated









Labor Women's Bureau. Twenty eight of the total number, or 22.8%, are construction

related which was a relatively small percentage of the overall number of nontraditional

jobs that women held. When analyzing these specific twenty eight job types, the

average number of women employed in each of these jobs was 14,700, representing

3.43% of the workers. Considering that the average number of people (men and

women combined) was 430,800, women represented a very small portion of the total

tracked workers.

As they enter these nontraditional occupations, barriers, policies, and

organizational structures tend to inhibit the career opportunities of women. The barriers

that exist include education and training, experience, and recruiting by the construction

industry. These barriers are the first dynamic at play in preventing women from holding

significant positions within the industry. Other factors that affect women from holding

such positions in the market are not necessarily industry-specific in nature, but are more

pronounced in the construction industry. These issues include work hours, location of

the work, the value of the worker, and opportunities for advancement. The presence of

such obstacles has resulted in barriers to the advancement of the women's careers.

Prior related research was conducted in the United States and abroad in Australia

and Western Europe. Similar experiences were discovered while studying the career

experiences of the women that focused on such issues as discrimination on the job,

lack of or delays in promotions, concerns with balancing family and work responsibilities

and the effect that these conditions had on their career path and pressures to perform.

Studies that occurred in the United States focused on specific types of issues that

have surfaced and affected women's career paths and job satisfaction. Such research










companies supported totaled 166 (Table 4-1). Some of the professional organizations

included in "Other" were American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Modular Building

Institute (MBI), Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association (FRSA), Florida Bar

Association, Florida Educational Facilities Planners Association (FEFPA), and Florida

Water Resources.




Lesser education Same education
level than you level as you
25.5% 29.4%












Greater education
level than you
45.1%

Figure 4-27. Level of education held by the respondents' supervisor in relation to their
own education (n=51).


Table 4-1. Professional Organizations Supported by
Companies
Name of Professional
Organization
Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimators (AACE)
American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE)
Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)
Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)
National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
Project Management Institute (PMI)
Other


Employing Construction


Total Number of
Respondents
27
19
5
4
5
7
9
52
6
1
31


Percentage of
Respondents
45.8%
32.3%
8.5%
6.8%
8.5%
15.3%
15.3%
88.1%
10.2%
1.7%
40.7%











Divorced/
Separated
20.0%
-


Living with
Partner
L 4.5% 1


Married
52.3%


Figure 4-7. Personal status of the participants (n=65).


2 Children
11.1%


No children,
77.8%


Figure 4-8. Respondents who have children under the age of 18 living in their
households (n=63).










More women taking advantage of the advancements that are offered in the
industry; that women would feel less intimidated in the industry.


I honestly do not see anything "the industry" can do. Personally, I am not a
believer in forced affirmative action. I believe it is a two step forward three
steps back proposition as it only builds resentment. The laws are already in
place to protect women's fundamental rights, but the bottom line is, you
cannot mandate respect. The biggest obstacle I see to women advancing is
a societal issue. There are people raised to treat women as second class
citizens, just as there are people raised to be prejudiced. Until those issues
are dealt with, the issue will not go away. As women get to positions of
authority in firms, hopefully THEY and their husbands will raise their sons
and daughters in a manner that promotes fair treatment for all.

The opinions given by the participants summarize the issues and obstacles that

women continue to face in the industry. While the industry is improving, there is still

room for improvement. The change is not the industry's responsibility, but rather the

responsibility of the individuals who manage the companies and can enact change from

within the corporate structure. As women enter the industry in greater numbers, their

abilities to hold more significant positions within their organizations are not as limited.

When women gain further training or education and experience, whether it is supported

by their companies or not, this will continue to open opportunities and allow for the

obstacles to be less significant factors in their career experiences.

As a result of the finding of this study, recommendations could be made to

construction companies that would help to improve the work environment for the

employees. Some of the suggestions include:

Acknowledge that barriers and discrimination still exist in the industry and women's
issues have not been solved. Construction company executives should perform
self-evaluations of their firms to determine if and to what extent these obstacles
impede the careers of their employees.









The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of the female
counterparts.

Higher values of this variable would indicate that poor treatment existed in the

career experiences of the participants. A correlation analysis was performed with this

treatment variable and all the other variables. Of the responses to 40 survey questions,

eight (20.0%) were found to have a statistically significant correlation when using a

Pearson Correlation analysis. Relationships were considered statistically significant if

the level of variance was less than 0.05. The eight questions that were strongly related

to this perceived treatment of the respondents are shown in Table 4-2.

Table 4-2. Pearson Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relationship of
survey variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents.
Pearson Significance
Survey Question Correlation Factor (one-tailed)
Education level of the DarticiDant 0.377 0.005


What is the average number of hours you work
per week?
In your experience, does your company actively
recruit woman?
I have had to choose between career
advancement and a family or personal life.
I am included in company functions by my male
counterparts, i.e. company golf functions,
barbeques, seminars, etc.
I am invited to socialize with my male
counterparts during the work week, such as
going to lunch or sharing ideas during breaks.
My direct supervisor understands and works
with me when family/personal responsibilities
arise.
My employer would allow me to further my
education or training related to the industry,
such as taking evening classes.


0.277

0.250

0.231


-0.444


-0.500


0.399


-0.295


0.020

0.031

0.043


0.001


0.001


0.001


0.015











APPENDIX B
APPROVAL LETTER FROM UNIVERSITY IRB02





UF In stitutional Review Board n
U UNYIrTVERSITY (Jf FLORIDA c, inr.. i l,.i, TI 32l I 2.
332-392-i 433 (Phon e)
s- 92 -r A 4. *.:;,ix
ib2i:u L.ed u



DATE: March 18, 20O1

TO; Jennifer E. Stanley
1139 SE 33" Avenue
Ocala, Fl 34474

FROM: Ira S- Fischter, PhD, Chairj,'
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02

SUBJECT: Approval of Protocol #2010-U-0228

TITLE: i.i: iLL and Organization Structures and Policies and Their Impact on Women's
Careers in Construction

SPONSOR: None

I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has
recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this
research presents no more than minimal risk to participants, and based on 45 CFR 46.117(c),
An IRB may waive the requirement for the investigator to obtain a signed consent form for
some or all subjects if it finds either: (0) That the only record lnking the subject and the
research would be the consent document and the principal risk wouId be potential ha~m
resulting from a breach of confidentiatity. Each subject wMi be asked whether the subject
wants documentation linking the subject with the research, and the subjects wishes wfl1
9overn; or (2) That the research presents no more than mi'nlmol rsk of harm to subjects and
nvove~s no procedures for which written r consent is nrnomaly required outside of the
research context.

The IRE authorizes you to administer the inrorred consent process a specified in the
protocol- If you wish to make any changes to this protocol, including the need to increase
tre number of particpants outhortzed, you must disclose your plans before you implement
them so that the Board can assess their impact on your protocol. In addition, you must report
to the Board any unexpected complications that affect your participants.

This approval is valid through March 16. 2011. If you have riot completed the study by this
date, please telephone our office (392-0433), and we wilt discuss the renewal process with
you. It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about the status of this
research protocol.

ISF:dl





"%" F:I"" 1 I:ll. ". 'il; 1i h d lIn::; ,











Other General
25.8% contractor, 33.9%











Subcontractor Construction
21.0% management
Engineering Architectural
3.2% 1.6%

Figure 4-19. Type of firm employing the participants (n=62).


asked to select each type of project that applied. Although there were a total of 59

respondents for this particular question, the percentages were based on the overall

number of 196 due to multiple responses. The types of construction projects that the

respondents' employers participated in were 8 (4.1%) civil/heavy highway; 37 (18.9%)

commercial; 27 (13.8%) design/build; 30 (15.3%) government; 22 (11.2%) healthcare;

13 (6.6%) industrial; 17 (8.7%) institutional; 13 (6.6%) retail; 12 (6.1%) subcontractor

trade; and 17 (8.7%) "other." Some of the types of construction contained in "other"

include residential, material suppliers, staffing, construction lead services, and legal

services (Figure 4-20).

The volume of work performed by the companies was also obtained through the

survey. The companies ranged in size from less than one million dollars of projects

completed per year to $8 billion in projects completed (Figure 4-21). Out of 44

responses to this survey question, a total of 31 worked for companies that completed









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W LE D G M E N T S ................................................................................. .. .... 4

LIST O F TA B LE S ...................................................................................... 7

LIS T O F F IG U R E S .................................................................. 8

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS..................... .......... .............................. 10

A B S T R A C T ...................................................... 1 1

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N .................................... .................................................................... 13

State ent of Purpose ............................................................................ 13
S cope and Lim stations ................................................................... 14
O organization ......................................... 15

2 LITERATURE REV IEW .......................................................................... 16

3 METHODOLOGY ............................................. ................. 28

Survey Questionnaire .................................... ........................... .. ........ 28
Sample Selection .................................................................. ... ......... 30
S survey A analysis ............................................................................................ ........ 3 1

4 A N A LY S IS O F R E S U LT S ............................................................................... 34

Demographics of All of the Respondents...................................... 34
Employment Types for All of the Respondents.............. ............ .......... ..... 48
Opinion Results for All of the Respondents .......... ........................................... 57
Pearson C correlation A analysis R esults................................................ ... ................. 66

5 S U M M A RY O F FIN D IN G S ...................................................................................... 73

B a rrie rs ...................................................................................................... 7 4
O organizational Structures .................................... ........................ .... ........... 75
P o lic ie s ........................................................................................................ 7 6

6 C O N C LU S IO N S ................................................................................................. 79









5. I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week, such
as going to lunch or sharing ideas during breaks.

FIStrongly Agree []Agree [:Neutral / No Opinion [_Disagree EStrongly Disagree

6. My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family/personal
responsibilities arise.

I IStrongly Agree I IAgree I INeutral / No Opinion I IDisagree IStrongly Disagree

7. My pay is less than that of my male counterparts.

I Strongly Agree I Agree I I Neutral / No Opinion I IDisagree I IStrongly Disagree

8. The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of the
female counterparts.

I IStrongly Agree I IAgree I INeutral / No Opinion I IDisagree IStrongly Disagree

9. My employer would allow me to further my education or training related to the
industry, such as taking evening classes.

I IStrongly Agree I IAgree I INeutral / No Opinion I IDisagree IStrongly Disagree

10. My company provides reimbursement to me for further training or education
related to the industry.

I IStrongly Agree I IAgree I INeutral / No Opinion I IDisagree IStrongly Disagree


Opinion (Optional)
What changes would you like to see implemented in the industry that would improve a
woman's success?







A copy of the results of this survey will be provided to any interested participants.
Please send a request under a separate email to the following email:
jenniferestanley@ufl.edu.










they would remain in construction for six to ten years. Four would remain in the field for

11 to 15 years; five for 16 to 20 years; six for more than 20 years. Three answered "As

long as possible" and "Unknown." Seven respondents stated they would remain in

construction until they reached the age of retirement (Figure 4-12).



Unknown, 6.3%
Retirement, 0-5 years, 22.9%
14.6%

As long as
possible
6.3%





6-10 years
21-30 years 18.8%
12.5%

1-15 years
16-20 years 8.3%
10.4%
Figure 4-12. Length of time the respondents will remain in the industry (n=47).

The participants were asked about the type of career path they expected to have

over the course of the next two years. Four choices were given: remain in the same

position with the same company, work in a different position with the same company,

work in a different position for a different construction company, or work for a firm that is

not in construction. Of the 63 responses to this question, 47 participants (21.0%)

answered that they would continue to work in the same position for the same company.

Eight (12.9%) stated that they would work in a different position for the same company,

while six (9.5%) indicated that they would work in a different position for a different









Respondents were asked whether their direct supervisors worked with them when

family or personal issues arose. Of the 54 responses, nine participants were Neutral/no

opinion, 20 participants who Agree, and 25 participants who Strongly agree. The

means of the Treatment variables for each type of response were 16. 65, 13.20, and

11.56, respectively. The work environment was better (less Treatment value) when the

respondents indicated that their supervisors would work with them..

The final statement concerned whether the participants believed that their

company would support further education and training. The responses were Strongly

disagree (1), Disagree (2), Neutral/no opinion (6), Agree (19), and Strongly Agree (26).

The means for these responses were Strongly Disagree (16.00), Disagree (12.50),

Neutral/no opinion (17.00), Agree (13.31), and Strongly Agree (11.77). The work

environment was better (lower Treatment value) when respondents worked in

companies that supported further education.

The results of the Treatment variable were compared with the annual volume of

the construction company, the number of employees for each of the participant's

employing companies, the gender of the participant's direct supervisor, and the

likelihood that the company actively recruited female candidates.

The volume of the company was divided into two subgroups, less than or equal to

$10 million (22 respondents) and more than $10 million (19 respondents). For the

group of participants who worked for a company earning less than or equal to $10

million, the mean for all responses was 13.14 while the median was 13.00. The

participants who worked for companies earning more than $10 million had a mean of

13.53 and a median of 13.00. The analysis also looked at the respondents who worked









The results showed an average response of 3.81, or "Neutral/no opinion," and a median

answer of 4, or "Agree."



30 26
25 21 1
8
20
15
10 7 6
30


Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion

Support Further Education Reimburse for Education


Figure 4-38. "My employer would allow me to further your education or training" (n=57)
compared to "My company provides reimbursement to me for furthering my
education or training" (n=58).



Pearson Correlation Analysis Results

In the survey, five questions asked about how the respondents were treated within

the companies. A single variable was created by simply adding the responses to these

five questions. The aggregated variable was assessed to provide a good overall

perception about the treatment of the respondents. The five statements that were used

to create this singular variable on Treatment were:

I am respected less than if a male was performing my job.

I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers.

I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender.

My pay is less than that of my male counterparts.









O Owner O Other
7. In your experience, does your company actively recruit woman?
O Yes O No
8. Is your direct supervisor or manager a male or female?
O Male
O Female
9. Does your manager or supervisor have:
O Same education level as you
O Greater education level as you
O Lesser education level as you
10. What professional trade organizations are supported by the company
you work for (check all that apply):
O Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
O Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
O American Institute of Architects (AIA)
O Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE)
O American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE)
O Construction Management Association of America (CMAA)
O Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA)
O National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC)
O National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
O Other
O Project Management Institute (PMI)
O Professional Women in Construction (PWC)

Opinion
1. I am respected less than if a male was performing my job.

EStrongly Agree _Agree DNeutral / No Opinion [Disagree DStront

2. I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers.

[F Strongly Agree [ AAgree [D Neutral / No Opinion [_Disagree D Stront

3. I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my
gender.

FStrongly Agree ]Agree DNeutral / No Opinion _Disagree DStront

4. I am included in company functions by my male counterparts, i.e.
company golf functions, bbqs, seminars, etc.

EStrongly Agree _Agree DNeutral / No Opinion [Disagree DStront









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my committee, Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Dr. R. Raymond Issa, and

Dr. E. Douglas Lucas for your help in assisting me with this study. Dr. Hinze, thank you

for the many meetings in your office and assistance with the revisions, especially with

the survey. I also appreciate your suggestions in looking at the data from various

perspectives that I originally did not consider.

I would also like to thank my parents, husband and children for your continuous

support throughout the last two years. I especially thank my husband and children for

your patience and understanding as I worked to complete not only the initial research

but the analysis associated with the data received. Without your constant support, this

thesis would not have been possible.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank the many women who are members of the

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in the state of Florida,

especially those who participated in this study. Each of the NAWIC chapters in the

state was responsive and allowed me access to their members, which was critical to

completing this study. Thank you so very much for agreeing to participate in my

research and to provide me with your honest opinions concerning your experiences in

the industry. It was a pleasure to correspond with all of you and your members in

completing this study.









Policies


The policies that were surveyed in this study included the acceptance of the

women by their employing company, their inclusion by their male peers, and the ability

to balance the work-life responsibilities. Acceptance of the women in the industry was

measured by asking a variety of questions. While some of the questions were more

overt in terms of asking the respondents about their inclusion or acceptance, many were

based on how the participants perceived their role in the organization. Regardless of

the position held by the respondent, if an individual is accepted, they would feel

included in various activities or believe that they would be afforded opportunities within

their company.

Twenty eight of 64 respondents (43.8%) answered affirmatively when asked about
being made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender. The types of positions
held by the participants who answered "yes" to this question included a variety of
job titles, from administrative/support to project manager to owner.

Out of 64 responses to the question concerning changes within the industry over the
last 5 to 10 years, 56 individuals (87.5%) indicated that women had greater
respect and opportunities than they did in the past.

For the two respondents who answered that things were worse than in the past, one
was an executive within a corporation while the other was an owner of a
construction company.

For the question asking whether the participant felt there was acceptance by their
company of women in the industry, 53 of the 64 respondents (82.8%) answered
either with "Strongly agree" or "Agree."

The respondents were asked if they were included in company functions and if they
were invited to socialize with male peers. For the question regarding being
included in company functions, seventeen of 60 respondents (28.3%) stated that
they either "Strongly disagreed," "Disagreed," or had a "Neutral/no opinion." For
the question asking whether they were invited to socialize with their male peers,
23 of 60 respondents (38.3%) answered this question with either "Strongly
disagree," "Disagree," or "Neutral/no opinion."










The average opinion for the participants to this question was a 2.76, which would tend

between a "Disagree" and "Neutral/no opinion" on the Likert Scale for this study. The

median response was 3, or "Neutral/no opinion."



18 -

16 -

14 -

12 -

10 -

8

6

4

2

0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion


Figure 4-37. The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of
female counterparts (n=59).

Two questions concerned education and training. The respondents when asked if

their employer would allow them to further their education or training. Of the 57

respondents to this question, 27 "Strongly agree," 21 "Agree," six were "Neutral/no

opinion," two respondents selected "Disagree," and one "Strongly disagree" (Figure 4-

38). The average opinion for this question was a 4.25, or "Agree;" the median was 5 or

"Strongly Agree." The participants were asked if their companies would reimburse them

for additional training or education. Out of the 58 respondents to this question, the

opinions for this question were 21 "Strongly agree," 18 "Agree," nine who were

"Neutral/no opinion," seven "Disagree," and three who answered "Strongly disagree."










The participants were asked if they believed that their company accepted women

in construction. Of 61 responses, 29 responded "Strongly agree" that their company

accepted women, 21 "Agree," six were "Neutral/no opinion," three "Disagree," and two

"Strongly disagree" (Figure 4-30). The average opinion for this question was a 4.18

which tended towards an "Agree" on the Likert Scale for this study while the median

was 5 which tended towards a "Strongly Agree."



25


20


15 -


10 -


5


0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion

Figure 4-28. I am respected less than if a male was performing my job (n=61).









benefits, and job security which the researchers further indicated would need to be

addressed by the industry in order to attract more women into construction.

Other researchers have focused on women in construction trades outside of the

United States. These studies have investigated the experiences of women in the

industry in such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Scotland (Dainty et al.

2003; Dainty and Lingard 2005; Pringle and Winning 1998; Lingard and Lin 2004). The

researchers have focused on the perceptions of women within the industry who have

joined such organizations as the National Association of Women in Construction

(NAWIC), women who work in the trades, and civil engineers.

The women who were members of the Australian NAWIC were surveyed to

determine the level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment to their

employers. The research indicated that the women in the industry were dedicated to

their jobs and the level of commitment that was required, but that the industry should

also look at ways in which it could become more supportive and desirable to future

female employees. Previous assumptions that were made concerning women putting

their families before their work were discounted in that study. The conclusion of the

study was centered on the need to not only retain women in the industry but to bring

strong female candidates into the business in order to address future labor needs.

Another study focused on the differences between the career paths of men and

women in the construction field. In Dainty et al. (2003), women and men who held

similar positions within the engineering industry were studied to determine whether they

had differed in terms of entry into the industry, promotion, and retention. Many of the

women entered the industry and had their career paths stall due to events that occurred









electronically to the Membership Chair who then forwarded the link to their members.

For others, the electronic link was uploaded to their chapter website for a specific period

of time so that the members could access the survey. Once the survey was reviewed

and approved by the University's Institutional Review Board and ready for distribution,

the questionnaire link was distributed to each of the NAWIC chapters in Table 3-1. The

participants were able to select the electronic link which would then direct them to the

survey hosted on Surveymonkey.com.

Survey Analysis

Once the surveys were completed and the data had been received, the results

were tabulated into categories and compared to determine variables that had significant

degrees of variances between the groups. In order to determine how each of the

barriers, structures, and policies might prevent women from having significant career

growth in the industry, all responses were compared utilizing a Pearson Correlation

analysis. Another Pearson Correlation analysis was performed on a singular variable

defined as "Treatment" to determine the overall perception of the participants and their

career experiences.

Of the twelve NAWIC chapters in the state of Florida, ten chapters participated in

this study. Of these ten chapters, the total possible number of respondents was 229. A

total of 65 members participated in this study, yielding a 28.4% response rate. The

results from the participants were analyzed to determine if the experiences of the

women involved in this study had a similar experience regardless of where they lived or

for whom they worked or if there was a more "female friendly" location and type of firm

in the state of Florida.










No
28.3%
\


Figure 4-25. Does the employing construction company actively recruit women? (n=60)


Female
15.7%


Male
84.3%


Figure 4-26. Gender of the supervisor of the respondents (n=51)

The number and type of professional organizations supported by each

respondent's company was also examined. The respondents were asked to select

each organization that was supported by their employer. Although a total of 56

participants responded to this question, the overall number of organizations that the


































To my family









Women are not necessarily raised to consider construction as a possible career

choice. This is a basic barrier to the entry of women into the industry especially in terms

of education and training. An accredited education in construction management,

experience, and advanced training skills are all becoming more accepted requirements

to compete in the market. As a result, women are attending such institutions and

earning degrees in this field, but in lower numbers than their male counterparts. In the

state of Florida, three accredited construction programs exist through the state

university system at Florida International University, University of Florida, and the

University of North Florida (American Council for Construction Education 2009). The

breakdown for the total number of male and female students enrolled in the

undergraduate programs in Florida is shown in Table 2-2 and Table 2-3.

Table 2-2. Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction
degrees in the Florida State University System in 2008.
Total Total Total
Institution Enrolled Male Female
Florida International University 369 299 70
University of Florida 399 341 58
University of North Florida 341 314 27
Fall Student Enrollment in State University System Institutions 2010, Degree criteria
includes 15.1000 Construction/Building Technology, 15.1001 Construction/Building
Technology, and 15.1005 International Construction Management
www.flbog. edu/resources/iud/enrollment_results. php

Table 2-3. Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction
degrees in the Florida State University System in 2009.
Total Total Total
Institution Enrolled Male Female
Florida International University 502 330 72
University of Florida 359 308 51
University of North Florida 268 253 15
Fall Student Enrollment in State University System Institutions 2010, Degree criteria
includes 15.1000 Construction/Building Technology, 15.1001 Construction/Building
Technology, and 15.1005 International Construction Management
www.flbog.edu/resources/iud/enrollment_results.php









Table 2-1. A breakdown of occupations held by women in the construction industry in
2008. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau 2009.
Numbers are given in thousands.
Employed Total Employed
Both Employed Percent
Occupation Sexes Female Female
Cost estimators 100 10 10.0
Construction and building inspectors 93 10 9.5
Construction managers 1,244 102 8.2
Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters 85 6 6.5
Painters, construction/maintenance 647 41 6.3
Surveying and mapping technicians 105 5 4.9
Sheet metal workers 136 7 4.8
Welding, soldering, and brazing workers 598 28 4.7
Helpers, construction trades 113 5 4.1
Crane and tower operators 69 3 3.7
Maintenance and repair workers 461 16 3.5
Construction laborers 1,651 51 3.1
First-line supervisors/managers of
construction trades and extraction workers 844 23 2.7
Carpet, floor, and tile installer/repairer 224 5 2.3
Cement masons, concrete finishers, and
terrazzo workers 112 2 2.2
Drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers 209 4 2.1
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration
mechanics and installers 397 8 2.0
Insulation workers 874 9 1.9
Operating engineers and other construction
equipment carpenters 1,562 24 1.5
Operating engineers and other construction
equipment operators 398 6 1.5
Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and
steamfitters 606 8 1.4
Roofers 234 3 1.3
Dredge, excavating, and loading machine
operators 60 1 1.2
Electricians 874 9 1.0
Millwrights 60 1 0.9
Structural iron and steel workers 77 1 0.9
Brickmasons, blockmasons, and
stonemasons 230 1 0.4
Women's Bureau, 2008

The breakdown of the nontraditional job types as shown in Table 2.1 is derived

from a list that included a total of 123 total professions tracked by the Department of
















*





*

*

-------->1 ---------
A A A NI'
,.o^^^vvv


SNo.of Years
of Experience


Figure 4-5. Years of experience of survey participants within the construction industry
(n=65).

A question was asked about the number of hours that the participants worked

each week. The responses ranged from 25 to 85 hours of work per week (Figure 4-6).

Of the 63 participants who responded to this question, four participants (6.4%) worked

less than 40 hours per week. The remaining 59 worked the following number of hours:

18 participants (28.6%) worked an average of 40 hours; 10 participants (15.9%) worked

between 41 and 45 hours; 11 participants (17.5%) worked between 46 and 50 hours; 16

participants (25.4%) worked between 51 and 60 hours; 2 participants (3.2%) worked 61

to 70 hours; 2 participants (3.2%) worked more than 70 hours, one of which worked an

average of 80 hours per week and the other worked 85 hours.









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

2-1 A breakdown of occupations held by women in the construction industry in
2008. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau 2009.
Num bers are given in thousands ................................................ ............... 17

2-2 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction
degrees in the Florida state university system in 2008............... ................... 23

2-3 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction
degrees in the Florida state university system in 2009............... ................... 23

2-4 ACE Mentor Program of America, 2009. National sponsors. Types of
companies involved in recruiting young women into the construction industry.
Contractor (C), Engineer (E), Architect (A), Subcontractor (S), Other (0).......... 25

3-1 NAW IC Chapters in the State of Florida, Region 3.......................................... 30

3-2 Questions from the survey and their relationship to the barriers (B),
organizational structures (S), and policies (P) that may impact on the careers
of w om en in construction.................................... .......................... ........ 32

4-1 Professional Organizations Supported by Employing Construction
C om panies ................................................... ........................... ....... 56

4-2 Pearson Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relationship of
survey variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents.................. 67

4-3 Kendall's Tau-b Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relationship
between the gender of the direct supervisor and recruitment by employing
companies variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents .............. 72










women who worked for the companies was a relatively small number. The average for

the respondents was 53 female employees and the median was five. The number of

female employees ranged from one (12 responses) to 2,000 (Figure 4-23).





16

14

12

10 9

8-

6

4- 3

2 1 1

0
4---- 1---------------------------












1 2-5 6-10 11-20 21-50 51-100 101-250 More than
250

Figure 4-23. Number of female employees who work in the construction companies
represented by the respondents (n=54).

The participants were asked to provide the highest position that a woman held

within their employing company. Of the 65 responses, the responses covered a wide

range of positions. The positions included administrative/support and project manager

with four responses each; accounting and estimator with one response each; business

development with two responses; operations manager with three responses; executive

with 18 responses; owner with 20 responses; "other" with eight responses (Figure 4-24).

Included in "other" were such job titles as director (3), attorney (1), controller (3), and

school superintendent (1).











Other, 16.9% Adminstrative/
support, 26.2%


Owners Accou noting
24.6% 3.2%

Project
Engineer,
1.5%

Estimator,
1.5%
superintendent,
1.5%
project Business
Executives, Managers, Development,
15.4% 7.7% 1.5%
Figure 4-2. Type of position held by the survey participants (n=65).


Field
14.1%












Office
85.9%


Figure 4-3. Primary work location for survey respondents (n=64).

The highest level of education held by the respondents was also surveyed. The

results showed that nineteen of the sixty five participants (29.2%) did not have either a

college degree or some college in their background (Figure 4-4). Thirteen had high

school diplomas, one had a GED, one had vocational education, one had a certification,

and three attended business school. The ranges of participants with degrees included









REFERENCES


American Council for Construction Education (2009) "Accredited Baccalaureate
Programs." http://www.acce-hq.org/bacalaureateprograms.htm

Arditi, David and Gulsah Balci. (2009) "Managerial Competencies of Female
and Male Construction Managers." Journal of Management in
Engineering, 135(11), 1275-1278

Dabke, S., O. Salem, A. Genaidy, and Nancy Daraisen. (2008) "Job Satisfaction
of Women in Construction Trades." Journal of Construction Engineering
and Management, 134(3), 205-216

Dainty, Andrew R.J. and Helen Lingard. (2006) "Indirect Discrimination in
Construction Organizations and the Impact on Women's Careers."
Journal of Management in Engineering, 22(3), 109-118

Dainty, A.R.J, B.M. Bagilhole, K.H Ansari, and J. Jackson. (2003) "Creating
Equality in the Construction Industry: An Agenda for Change for Women
and Ethnic Minorities." Journal of Construction Research, 5(1), 75-86

Dainty, A.R.J., R.H. Neale and B.M. Bagihole. (2000) "Comparison of Men's
and Women's Careers in U.K. Construction Industry." Journal of
Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 126(3), 110-
115

Linguard, Helen and Jasmine Lin. (2003) "Career, Family, and Work Environment
Determinants of Organizational Commitment Among Women in the Australian
Construction Industry." Construction Management and Economics, 22(4), 409-
420

National Association of Women in Construction (2009) www.nawic.org

Pringle, Rosemary and Anne Winning. (1998) "Building Strategies: Equal
Opportunity in the Construction Industry." Gender, Work and Organization, 5(4),
220-229

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009) Industries at a Glance. "Construction:
NAICS 23." http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin

U.S. Department of Labor (2009) Women's Bureau.
http://www.dol.gov/wb/info_about_wb/mission.htm

U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau. (2008) "Nontraditional Occupations for
Women in 2008."
www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/nontra2008.htm










Conditions are There is no
worse for women difference, 9.4%
today
3.1%



Women are
treated with
more respect and
have greater
opportunities
87.5%






Figure 4-16. Observed changes in the construction industry concerning the status of
women in the past five to ten years (n=64).

Relating to how the industry had changed in its treatment of women, the

respondents were asked whether they would support or encourage a young man or a

young woman that they personally knew to enter the construction industry. A total of 65

respondents answered both questions. For both a young man and a young woman

who were entering the industry, a total of 40 (59.7%) indicated that they would "Strongly

agree" to support their entry into the industry. For a young man, the responses were

"Agree" with 20 participants, "Neutral/no opinion" with four, and "Disagree" with one

response (Figure 4-17). For a young woman, the responses were 18 participants

indicating they would "Agree," five who selected "Neutral/no opinion," and two who

selected "Disagree" (Figure 4-18).

In order to determine if the respondents showed any bias about whether they

would recommend a young man versus a young woman to enter the industry, a

Student's-t and Fisher's f analysis were performed. For both questions, there were 65









has shown that women, during the course of their career, are faced with indirect

discrimination, industry-wide accepted practices that exclude women, and other

constraints. While some studies have focused on women working in the subcontracting

trades sector (Dabke et al. 2008), others have investigated the presence of differences

between the abilities of male and female construction managers (Arditi and Balci 2009).

Women construction managers who participated in the study by Arditi and Balci

were compared against their male peers on certain competencies that are deemed as

necessary in order to be an effective project manager. These traits include such

qualities as interpersonal skills, planning, organization, being results oriented, and

leadership. The results show that while women may not be well represented in

numbers, their actual abilities in leadership positions and performance of tasks are

equal to, and in some cases slightly greater than, their male peers (Arditi and Balci

2009). The outcome of that particular study implied that the lack of success of women

in the construction industry was not the ability of the individual but an external barrier

that was present in the industry.

In another study, women who worked in the subcontracting trades were surveyed

in order to determine the level of satisfaction with their jobs. While the previous

research had focused on the para-professional career paths held by women, the study

by Dabke et al. was centered on women who were skilled tradeswomen and primarily

worked on the jobsites. The results of that study indicated that while the respondents

had satisfaction gained through the pride in their work, a gap existed between this pride

and actual career satisfaction. The participants had issues with such things as pay,









4-21 Annual revenue of the construction companies employing the respondents...... 52

4-22 Number of employees the respondents' employing construction companies..... 52

4-23 Number of female employees who work in the construction companies
represented by the respondents .............................................. .............. 53

4-24 Highest position held by a female in each respondent's employing
co nstructio n co m pa ny ................ .................................. ......... ............... 54

4-25 Does the employing construction company actively recruit women?................ 55

4-26 Gender of the supervisor of the respondents .................................. ............... 55

4-27 Level of education held by the respondents' supervisor in relation to their
o w n e d u c a tio n ................................................................................................... 5 6

4-28 I am respected less than if a male was performing my job.............................. 58

4-29 I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers........................................ 59

4-30 I think there is acceptance in my company of women in construction. ............... 59

4-31 I have had to choose between a career advancement and a family or
personal life. ............................................................. ......... ......... 60

4-32 I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender........ 61

4-33 I am included in company functions by my male counterparts. .......................... 62

4-34 I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week......... 63

4-35 My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family or personal
re s p o n s ib ilitie s a rise ............................................................. ................ 6 3

4-36 My pay is less than that of my male counterparts.................. ............. ........ 64

4-37 The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of
fe m a le co u nte rp a rts ................ ............................................. ................ 6 5

4-38 "My employer would allow me to further your education or training" compared
to "My company provides reimbursement to me for furthering my education
or training". .................................. ........................................ ......... 66









of the female workers can be contributed to the general culture of the building industry.

Whereas women face the same responsibilities as their male peers in the workplace,

other factors affect their career. The retention of the women can also be attributed to

the frustrations faced by the women in terms of the organizational structures of the

companies for which they work. As a result, the industry is failing to take full advantage

of women as a possible labor source in the workforce.









CHAPTER 6
CONCLUSIONS

While many of the percentages for the questions may seem relatively low, the

stratified group who participated in this study is only a small percentage of women who

work in construction. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that 217,000 women

worked in construction in 2008. Overall, the women who participated in this study hold

positions in similar percentages to the statistical information. Ten percent of women

hold estimator positions and 8.2% of women hold construction management positions

as indicated in Table 2-1. For this study, one of the sixty five participants was an

estimator and five were project managers, 1.5% and 7.7% respectively.

The results of the percentages for the three obstacles that were defined (barriers,

organizational structures, and policies) when applied theoretically to the 217,000

women in the industry, the numbers affected by these potential obstacles are very large.

Concerning barriers in recruitment, 28.3% of the respondents do not believe that their

companies actively recruit women. This would mean that potentially over 60,000

women who work for construction companies in the U.S. hold similar beliefs. For the

primary location where the women work, 85.9% worked in the office while 14.1%

worked in the field. Since the field is where the project is built, more responsibilities for

the delivery of the project fall to these employees. If 217,000 women work in the

industry, based on the findings of this study slightly over 30,000 of all women in

construction would work in the field. Almost half of the participants, 43.8%, had been

made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender. For the entire industry, this would

mean that over 95,000 women would have similar perceptions. Forty percent felt that

they had to work harder; meaning that over 86,000 of the women employed in









did not actively recruit female candidates had a mean response of 14.81 and a median

response of 15.00. The means for these respondents were compared and the z-factor

was found to be 1.70 (two-tailed), which indicated that there was a tendency towards

there being a significant difference between the groups based on the answer of the

participant.

The questions that concerned the gender of the supervisor and the recruitment

practices of the construction industry were then compared using the Kendall's Tau-b

Correlation Analysis. The two variables were compared to the Treatment variable in

order to confirm the differences between their means. The results of the Kendall's Tau-

b Correlation Analysis are given in Table 4-3. The relationship between the variables is

confirmed to be statistically significant in that the level of significance is greater than

0.05.

Table 4-3. Kendall's Tau-b Correlation analysis results that showed a strong
relationship between the gender of the direct supervisor and recruitment by
employing companies variables and the perceived treatment of the
respondents.
Correlation Significance
Survey Question Coefficient (one-tailed)
In your experience, does your company actively
recruit woman? 0.176 0.062
My direct supervisor understands and works
with me when family/personal responsibilities
arise. 0.199 0.054









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Construction is a traditionally male-dominated industry that women have been

increasingly entering and holding significant positions over the last three decades.

While women are involved in various aspects of the construction business, this segment

of the available work force is under-represented in the industry. As of 2008, a total of

67,876,000 women made up the available labor force in the United States, but only a

small percentage of all women, approximately 1.6%, worked in construction

(Department of Labor 2009).

Many factors are relevant when explaining why women are not significantly

involved in the construction industry. Chapter 2 discusses obstacles that have

adversely impacted the opportunities for women in the industry. In performing the

literature review, previous studies have shown that these barriers are present in

markets throughout the United States, Australia, and in other Western civilized

countries. This study is designed to investigate the experiences of women who work in

construction in the state of Florida and whether the participants have observed or

experienced discriminatory practices, barriers to advancement, or general acceptance

of women by their respective employers.

Statement of Purpose

This study was intended to examine the career experiences of women who work in

the construction industry in the Florida market. The women were all members of the

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and were currently employed

in the industry. The focus of this study was intended to determine what barriers,

organizational structures, or policies have been experienced by the women in their









that they had never been made to feel uncomfortable while 24 respondents were made

to feel uncomfortable in some way. Of this group of 24 women, two were made to feel

uncomfortable weekly, five on a monthly basis, and seventeen were made to feel

uncomfortable a few times per year.



Never 0A few times per
60.7% year, 27.9%









Monthly
8.1%
Weekly
3.3%


Figure 4-15. How often participants were made to feel uncomfortable due to their
gender (n=61).

Participants were asked if they felt as though the industry had changed within the

last five to ten years in relation to how women were treated. The possible responses

were "There is no difference," "Women are treated with more respect and have greater

opportunities," and "Conditions are worse for women today." Even though 43.7% of the

64 participants had been made to feel uncomfortable at work, out of the same number

of 64 participants, 56 (87.5%) of the respondents indicated that women were treated

with more respect and had greater opportunities than in the past. Six participants stated

that there was no difference over the past five to ten years; two responded that

conditions were worse for women (Figure 4-16).









subcontracting companies with more technical or heavy equipment focuses such as

sitework, electrical, or mechanical firms have a different experience in terms of

acceptance and promotion. While this study does not focus on this particular

presumption, the outcome may result in an opportunity for further study.

Organization

This chapter is the first of six chapters that will cover the investigation of this study.

The prior research that has been performed on issues faced by women in the

construction industry is discussed in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses the methodology

of the research. Chapter 4 interprets the findings of this study. Chapter 5 is a summary

of the findings of the study. Chapter 6 includes the conclusions for the investigation and

further recommendations.










construction company. Two participants (3.2%) stated that they expected to work for a

firm that is not in construction (Figure 4-13).


I expect to work I expect to work
in a different for a firm that is
position for a not in
different construction
construction 3.2%
company
9.5%







I expect to wor expect to work
in a different the
position for the position for the
same company,
same company
12.7%

Figure 4-13. Expected career path of the participants (n=65).

A series of questions in the survey dealt with gender issues. Participants were

asked if they were made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their gender, the

frequency in which the participants were made to feel uncomfortable, and whether they

felt as though the industry had changed within the last five to ten years in regards to

how women were treated. Of 64 respondents, 28 indicated that they had been made to

feel uncomfortable at work while 36 stated that they had not (Figure 4-14). The

respondents were asked to provide some examples of how they were made to feel

uncomfortable. The following were a few of the responses:

Many subcontractors will whistle at me, flirt with me, or treat me unfairly. I
then introduce myself as the owner and they quickly change their attitude.

Reference made to 'you'll always be a mother' instead of being viewed as a
professional woman. Told what to wear and not wear to a job site by a
worker.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Jennifer Elyse Stanley Albertson was born in Ocala, Florida to Martin and Barbara

Stanley. After graduating third in her class from Umatilla High School, she attended

Eckerd College for one year and then transferred to the University of Florida, where she

graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts and sciences with a

concentration in history. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and began working in the

construction industry.

Following her return to Florida and continued employment in various capacities

within the construction industry, Jennifer decided to continue her education, this time

with a focus on construction. In May 2008, Jennifer began her graduate studies at the

M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. Upon

earning her Master of Science in Building Construction degree in August 2010, Jennifer

returned to the industry and began working as lead estimator for a general construction

firm.









The participants who worked for construction companies that do not actively recruit
women revealed a higher level of poor treatment.

The participants whose responses tended toward "Agree" when asked if they had to
choose between a career and a personal or family life indicated that they had a
higher perception of receiving poor treatment.

Participants who were not included in company functions by their male counterparts
suggested a higher existence of poor treatment.

The participants who were not invited to socialize with their male peers during the work
week were more likely to indicate a perception of poor treatment.

The construction companies that did not support further education of treatment had a
higher probability that the participant would report the perception of poor
treatment.

Barriers

The barriers that were studied included such issues as education and training,

recruitment of women into the industry, and experience in the industry. In this study,

the participants were asked a series of questions, some of which were used to

determine the extent to which respondents had experienced these barriers in their

career.

Forty seven (72.3%) of respondents had some college or college degrees. Of these 47
individuals, fourteen (29.8%) worked in an administrative capacity within their
firms.

While women are entering the industry, there are still a limited number of women who
hold significant positions within the industry when compared to their male
counterparts. Nineteen of 65 total participants (29.2%) held positions of project
engineer, superintendent, estimator, project manager or executive.

Sixteen (24.6%) of participants were owners of a construction company, but it is
unknown what factors led them to become owners of the companies.

Nine of 57 participants (15.8%) indicated a Neutral/no opinion, Disagree, or Strongly
Disagree response when asked if their companies would support them furthering
their education. Nineteen of 58 participants (32.8%) stated a Neutral/no opinion,
Disagree, or Strongly Disagree answer when asked if their companies would
reimburse them furthering their education.










The participants were asked about their compensation and whether they felt as

though their pay was less than a male in the company performing the same job. Figure

4-36 shows how the 59 participants answered this question. Seven respondents

indicated "Strongly agree;" nine respondents "Agree;" seventeen respondents indicated

they were "Neutral/no opinion;" fifteen respondents "Disagree;" and eleven "Strongly

disagree." The average opinion to this question was a 2.76, which would lie between

"Disagree" and "Neutral/ no opinion." The median response was 3, indicating a

"Neutral/no opinion."



18 -

16 -

14

12 -

10 -

8

6

4

2

0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion


Figure 4-36. My pay is less than that of my male counterparts (n=59).

The next question concerned whether male employees received more public

recognition than the female counterparts in the respondent's company. Of the 59

participants who responded to this question, seven "Strongly agreed," 11 "Agreed," 13

had "Neutral/no opinion," 17 "Disagreed," and 11 "Strongly disagreed" (Figure 4-37).




64










Neutral/no
opinion
6.2%



Agree/
30.8%


Disagree
S1.5%


r

Strongly agree,
61.5%


Figure 4-17. Respondents who would support a young man in entering the construction
industry (n=65).


Neutral/no
opinion
7.7%




Agree J
27.7%


Disagree
S3.1%


r

Strongly agree,
61.5%


Figure 4-18. Respondents who would support a young woman in entering the
construction industry (n=65).









Table 3-2. Questions from the survey and their relationship to the barriers (B),
organizational structures (S), and policies (P) that may impact on the careers
of women in construction.


Question
Years of experience within the construction industry?
Current position in the company?
Education level?
How did you initially enter the construction industry?
What is your personal status?
How many children under the age of 18 live with you?
What is the age of our youngest child?
What is the average number of hours you work per week?
Do you primarily work in the field or in the office?
What type of career path do you see yourself having in the
next 2 years?
Will you continue to work in the construction industry?
Have you ever been treated in a manner that made you feel
uncomfortable because of your gender?
How often are you made to feel uncomfortable because of
your gender?
Have you observed any changes in the way that women are
treated in the construction industry in the past 5 to 10 years?
I would support a young man I personally know to enter the
construction industry.
I would support a young man I personally know to enter the
construction industry.
Type of firm you currently work for?
Type of work your company performs?
What size company do you work for?
How many employees are in your company?
How many women work in your company?
What is the highest position within your company held by a
woman?
In your experience, does your company actively recruit
women?
Is your direct supervisor or manager a male or female?
Education level comparing you and your manager or
supervisor
What professional trade organizations are supported by the
company you work for?
I am respected less than if a male was performing my job.
I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers.
I think there is acceptance in my company of women in
construction.
I have to choose between career advancement and a family
or personal life.


B S
X
X X


X X


X X

X X

X X X

X X


X X X


X X












14. How often are you made to feel uncomfortable because of your gender?
O Daily O Times per year
O Weekly O Never
O Monthly
15. Have you observed any changes in the way that women are treated in the
construction industry in the past 5 to 10 years?
O There is no difference.
O Women are treated with more respect and have greater opportunities
today.
O Conditions are worse for women today.

16. I would support a young man I personally know to enter the construction industry.

F Strongly Agree E Agree D Neutral / No Opinion _Disagree _Strongly Disagree

17. I would support a young woman I personally know to enter the construction
industry.

SStrongly Agree I IAgree ID Neutral / No Opinion I Disagree _Strongly Disagree

Employer/Industry Information
1. Type of firm you currently work for:
O General Contractor O Engineering
O Construction Management 0 Subcontractor
O Architectural O Other
2. Type of work your company performs (check all that apply):
O Civil/Heavy Highway O Institutional
O Commercial O Retail
O Design/Build O Subcontractor Trade
O Government
D Healthcare O Other
O Industrial
3. What size company do you work for: $ millions of projects completed per
year
4. How many employees are in your company? Number of Employees
5. How many women work in your company? Number of Women
6. What is the highest position within your company held by a woman?
O Receptionist 0 Superintendent
D Admin / Support 0 Estimator
O Accounting O Project Manager
O Project Engineer O Business Development
L Craft Worker O Operations Manager
O Foreman O Executive









The results indicate that companies might be more willing "in philosophy" to encourage
their employees to further their education, but they would be less willing "in
actuality" to back up this support with a financial commitment.

Seventeen of 60 participants (28.3%) indicated that their employer did not actively
recruit female candidates. The seventeen respondents spanned all positions
within their companies: administrative/ support, accounting, superintendent,
estimator, project managers, business development, executives, and owners.

Even though executives and owners would be presumed to be able to enact change
within their organizations, the five individuals either were unable to do so or would
fear facing potential backlash from their employing companies.

Organizational Structures

Organizational structures were defined as the working conditions that, while not

specific to construction, were likely to be an issue for women upon entering the

construction industry. These structures included work hours, the location of the

employee's job, and their position within the company.

Of fifty nine participants who work more than 40 hours per week, forty one worked more
than forty hours a week and fourteen of these participants worked sixty hours or
more per week. Each of these individuals generally held higher level positions
within the construction company for which they worked, including the positions of
project engineer, estimator, owner, executive, and other.

When looking at the fourteen participants who work more than sixty hours per week, two
had children under the age of 18 who live in their household. Long work weeks
detract from the work-life balance.

Experience is mostly gained in the field by working on the jobsite to learn the work that
the trades do, overseeing the schedule, and managing the construction effort.
Nine of 64 (14.1 %) of the participants worked in the field; the remaining 85.9%
worked in the office.

It is understood that in construction that the work is performed in the field on the job site
with many of the supporting roles for the projects being handled in the home office.
The nine respondents who worked primarily in the field held positions of
accounting (1), superintendent (1), project manager (1), executive (1), owner (4),
and other (1).










Chapter 364 Chapter 372 Chapter 36 -
Chapter 355 Greater Greater Tampa
Space Coast (7) Jacksonville 21.5%
10.8% 1
Chapter
317 Chapter 41 -
Tri-County. Miami
(1), 1.5% 9.2%

Chapter
297 Chapter 73 -
SW Florida Greater Orlandoape
9.2% (17)
Tallahassee
pe9.e e (f ta c
9.2%

Chapter 284 -
Volusia County
1.5%


Figure 4-1. NAWIC chapters from Florida that participated in this study (n=65).

While some of the chapters had only a few participants who responded to the

survey, the respondents held a variety of positions within each of the companies by

whom they were employed. Figure 4-2 shows the type of position held and the

percentage of the respondents who hold that position. The participants ranged from 17

administrative or support staff (26.2%); two accounting personnel (3.1%); one project

engineer (1.5%), one superintendent (1.5%), one estimator (1.5%), and one business

development officer (1.5%); five project managers (7.7%); ten executives (15.4%); and

16 owners (24.6%). The eleven "Other" positions held by the participants included such

job titles as assistant project manager (1), architect (1), civil engineer (1), attorney (2),

human resources director (1), office manager (1), safety (1), and sales (3).

Participants were asked if they worked primarily in the field or in the office (Figure

4-3). Of the 64 responses, nine, or 14.1%, worked in the field while 55 participants, or

85.9%, worked in the office.













25


20


15









0 -
10







Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion

Figure 4-34. I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week
(n=60).




30


25


20


15 -


10 -


5


0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion


Figure 4-35. My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family or
personal responsibilities arise (n=56).









APPENDIX

A S U R V E Y ............... .......... ......... ................. ........................... 83

B APPROVAL LETTER FROM UNIVERSITY IRB02............... ..... ............... 87

REFERENCES ................................... ............... 89

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........... .... ............. ......................... 90












































6









The survey evolved over the course of reviewing prior studies on women and their

experiences in the construction industry. The participants in the research had indicated

that certain constraints in their careers had occurred that resulted in their exclusion from

holding more significant positions within the construction firms. In considering what

possible obstacles could be faced, the survey began to take shape. Several factors

were important to investigate, including the level of acceptance by the women within

their organizations, not only with the company as a whole but with their peers; the

location of their work, be it in the field or office, and whether that impacted their ability to

succeed; the way in which the participants entered the industry and how it related to

their desire to remain or leave the industry.

The survey is included in Appendix A. In addition to basic questions regarding the

women and their individual companies, the respondents were asked to provide

examples of either discriminatory or exclusionary instances they had experienced in

their careers. The survey was intended to cover a variety of construction companies, in

terms of size and type of work performed. The study also allowed the respondents to

denote in which NAWIC chapter they were a member. This was necessary in order to

track the differences between each of the geographical locations.

All participants were emailed an electronic link to the survey as it was hosted on

Surveymonkey.com. The survey was organized in such a way that it was separated

into three distinct sections. Section I focused on personal or biographical information

provided by the anonymous respondent. The first section included such questions as

personal status (married, single, divorced), years of experience in the industry, and

intention to remain in the industry. Section II dealt with the industry and the company









While some of this 15.1% decrease in the total number of workers can be

attributed to the recession that has resulted in layoffs in many private sector companies,

part of the decrease can be related to frustrations of the workers with the industry and

organizational confines. In one study, researchers found that women were willing to

leave the construction industry altogether in order to take a position in another job that

would pay the same due to "lesser opportunities, less satisfaction with supervision, and

less satisfaction with the job in general" (Dabke et al. 2008). In an industry where labor

shortage is a factor in many markets, the potential alienation of women by the

construction industry should not be ignored.

Indirect discrimination includes such behaviors as making assumptions about

one's abilities based on preconceived stereotypes. Women have been assumed to be

the fairer sex and the more sensitive, softer gender. In a construction setting, especially

on a job site, a woman may be assumed to be incapable of carrying a heavy tool, lifting

materials, operating equipment, or being able to work in dirty conditions. In response to

these attitudes, women generally have to negotiate the "good old boy" network and

grow a tough exterior in order to not let the biases affect their focus on success.

The explanations behind the low percentage of women in the construction industry

are a combination of many factors. Women are not recruited from a young age to

consider construction as a viable career. This leads to this portion of the population not

becoming educated or trained for working in the industry. When women do enter the

industry, they enter as primarily administrative help rather than in a professional or

managerial capacity. Once women are in the industry the structures within the

individual companies provide further constraints. The lack of response to the demands









If the women were truly accepted in the industry, their peers and employers will include
them in formal and informal functions such as company golf tournaments or lunch
during the work week.

The questions that deal with the less overt ways in which policies that affect

women in their careers were also addressed. These sorts of policies were more about

the respect that the participants receive for their position or knowledge, the extent to

which they have to work harder to prove that they were as capable as their male

counterparts, the opportunities that were afforded them due to their work, and the

recognition that female employees receive for their work. While the answers were all

opinion-based, the responses would determine if the participants face these issues in

their career.

Of the 61 participants to the question "I am respected less than if a male was
performing my job," fifteen answered with an affirmative response. While the
overall percentage for affirmative answers was low, 24.5% of all respondents, the
participants were largely individuals who held more significant positions within their
organizations including estimator (1), project manager (1), executive (4), and
owner (6).

When the participants were asked if they felt that they had to work harder than their
male peers, 24 of the 60 participants answered with either "Strongly agree" or
"Agree." The participants may believe that they were respected as much their
male counterparts, but it is evident that they still feel as though they have to work
harder to prove themselves.

Of 61 respondents to the question concerning whether the individuals felt as though
their opportunities were limited due to their gender, eleven indicated either a
"Strongly agree" or "Agree" response while eight indicated "Neutral/no opinion."
The positions held by these individuals included administrative/ support (5),
estimator (1), project manager (1), executive (2), owner (6), and other (4). What is
unknown is what limitations of opportunities exist for the executives and owners
who responded affirmatively to this question.











18
16
14
12 10 10


8 6
6
4 2


0
25 30 35 37.5 40 45 50 55 60 70 80 85


Figure 4-6. Average number of hours worked per week by survey participants (n=63).

The NAWIC members who participated in the survey were asked about their

marital status, the number of children they had, and the age of the children who lived in

their household. Figure 4-7 illustrates the marital status, whether the respondents were

single, married, separated/divorced, or living with their partner. Fifty-two percent of

respondents indicated that they were married. The respondents who were either single

or separated/divorced constituted 43.1 % of the total number of participants. Those

living with their partner comprised 4.6% of the study. Of the 63 participants who

responded to the question, 49 (77.8%), had no children living in the home with them.

The remaining 14 (22.2%) were evenly split between having one or two children (Figure

4-8). The data in Figure 4-9 depicts the ages of the youngest children as they were

grouped according to school-age level, such as preschool, elementary, middle, high

school and adult. Of the fourteen with children living in their household, two were

between zero and five years of age, three were between six and ten years of age,

seven were between 15 and 18 years of age, and two were over 18 years of age.









Fifty nine participants answered the question regarding whether female employees in
their organization received a different response or less recognition than the male
employees. Of the 59 respondents, eleven indicated "Agree" seven indicated
"Strongly agree," and thirteen responded with "Neutral/no opinion," accounting for
52.5% of the entire group. When an individual performs their job well, it is human
nature to look for approval and recognition from not only one's peers but one's
supervisor or manager.









construction would potentially feel the same way. In terms of acceptance and inclusion

by their male peers by being invited to socialize during the work week, over 83,000

would not be asked to participate.

While these results seem fairly pessimistic for women in the industry, 87.5% of the

survey participants indicated that the industry afforded more opportunities and treated

women with greater respect than five to ten years ago. While the corporate culture of

construction companies may be more demanding for its employees than other

industries, the industry rewards its employees based on hard work and dedication.

The participants were asked to suggest changes that they would like to see

implemented in the industry in order to help improve a woman's success in the industry.

The responses ranged from education and training opportunities, to better hiring

processes, to increased numbers of women in more managerial roles. Examples of the

responses are provided.

I would like women to have the same management opportunities as men. I
would also like to see companies allowing women to advance their
education in order to gain the knowledge and experience required for the
upper management opportunities.


Wider acceptance of women's contributions and see that pay is
commensurate with male counterparts.


Would hope that the industry as a whole will continue to recognize women
and advance them into positions comparable to their male counterparts.
Also hope that employers will find ways to reimburse all employees for
continued education.


On-site field experience is the area most women are lacking. They typically
do not take construction jobs during summer breaks, etc. to help them gain
the field experience that is essential. Women need to get hands-on,
practical field experience if they desire to go on to management positions.
They need to be able to 'walk the walk, not just talk the talk.'









PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION


By

JENNIFER E. STANLEY ALBERTSON















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010

































2010 Jennifer E. Stanley Albertson









Coupled with the lower numbers of women being educated to work in the industry,

the recruitment of women is significantly ignored. National organizations to recruit

women into the industry, such as NAWIC, focus on women who are currently involved in

the field and providing networking capabilities, rather than providing a major emphasis

on generating interest of the youth. Many regional NAWIC chapters work in conjunction

with other associations to provide programs throughout the United States such as

Mentoring a Girl in Construction (MAGIC), Rosie's Girls, and the ACE Mentor Program,

but many of these programs are not available in all fifty states (National Association of

Women in Construction 2009).

While NAWIC is interested in promoting construction as an option to young women

who may be interested in the industry, the number of construction companies who

would potentially employ these women is far more numerous than the ones involved in

the recruitment process. For instance, the ACE Mentor Program has both national

sponsors and featured sponsors that include engineers, architects, contractors, and

trade associations. In Table 2-4, twelve out of the twenty six sponsors, or 46.2% of the

total, are construction companies (National Association of Women in Construction

2009).

The gender gap is widened when looking at the retention of women in the

construction industry. Construction companies typically do not provide recruitment to

younger women in order to attract them into the field. Once women are in the industry,

the retention of skilled women workers and highly competent managers is low

compared to men in construction. For women, 258,000 worked in the construction









CHAPTER 4
ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

Twelve NAWIC chapters were contacted to invite their members to participate in

this study. A total of ten chapters, or 83.3%, of the Region 3 chapters agreed to

distribute the survey to their members. The participants were asked questions

regarding their personal biographical information, questions about their employers, and

their opinions regarding their experiences in the construction industry. The results of

the study were grouped and analyzed to determine whether the participants had

experienced obstacles within their careers.

Demographics of All of the Respondents

Of the 229 possible participants who received electronic links to the survey, 65

members responded to the survey, representing 28.4% of the possible participants. All

of the participants were female. Figure 4-1 depicts the total number, denoted in

parenthesis, of participants from each of the NAWIC chapters. The percentage values

represent the percentage of the total responses from each chapter. The chapters with

the most members include the Greater Orlando Chapter with 69 members; Tampa with

37 members; Miami with 22 members; and the Space Coast chapter with 21 members.

The Greater Orlando chapter was the largest, and it also had the most members (17)

who participated in the survey. Many of the chapters with less than 20 members had a

response rate of between 1 and 7 members.










Administrative/
Other support, 6.6%
13.1%


Accounting Estimator
1.6% 1.6% Busness
1.6%
Project Manager
6.6%
Operations
Manager
4.9%


Owner
32.8%





Executive
29.5%

Figure 4-24. Highest position held by a female in each respondent's employing
construction company (n=65).

The participants were asked about the recruitment practices of their employing

companies and if their companies actively recruited women. Of 60 respondents, 43

(71.7%) stated that their employing companies actively recruit women while 17 (28.3%)

stated that they did not actively recruit female candidates (Figure 4-25).

Information was sought regarding the supervisors of the respondents. Specifically,

the participants were asked if they had a male or female supervisor. Information was

also sought concerning the education level of their supervisors. Out of 51 responses,

43 respondents worked for a male supervisor while eight worked for a female manager

(Figure 4-26).

Regarding the education level of their supervisors, out of 51 responses, 13

respondents worked for a supervisor who had less education than they had achieved.

Fifteen respondents had the same level of education as their supervisors, and 23 had

managers with education levels greater than their own (Figure 4-27).









LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AACE Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimators

ABC Association of Builders and Contractors

AGC Associated General Contractors

AIA American Institute of Architects

ASPE American Society of Professional Estimators

CMAA Construction Management Association of America

DBIA Design-Build Institute of America

GC General Contractor

MAGIC Mentoring a Girl in Construction

NAHB National Association of Home Builders

NAWIC National Association of Women in Construction

PMI Project Management Institute

PWC Professional Women in Construction









Table 3-2. Continued
Question B S P
I have limited opportunities within my organization because of
my gender. X X
I am included in company functions by my male counterparts,
i.e. company golf functions, bbqs, seminars, etc. X X
I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the
work week, such as going to lunch or sharing ideas during
breaks. X X
My direct supervisor understands and works with me when
family/personal responsibilities arise. X
My pay is less than that of my male counterparts. X X X
The work of male employees receives more public recognition
than that of the female counterparts. X X
My employer would allow me to further my education or
training related to the industry, such as taking evening
classes. X
My company provides reimbursement to me for further
training or education related to the industry. X
Appendix A









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

4-1 NAW IC chapters from Florida that participated in this study ............................ 35

4-2 Type of position held by the survey participants ......... ........... ................. 36

4-3 Primary work location for survey respondents ........ ..... ........ .................... 36

4-4 Highest educational level held by survey participants. ................. .............. 37

4-5 Years of experience of survey participants within the construction industry....... 38

4-6 Average number of hours worked per week by survey participants................ 39

4-7 Personal status of the participants....................... ... .......................... 40

4-8 Respondents who have children under the age of 18 living in their
households. ................... ........... ....................... ......... ..... 40

4-9 Age of each respondent's youngest child ........ ...................................... 41

4-10 How participants became involved in the construction industry....................... 42

4-11 Likelihood that the participants will continue in the construction industry ......... 42

4-12 Length of time the respondents will remain in the industry ............................. 43

4-13 Expected career path of the participants. ......... ........................ .......... .. 44

4-14 Participants were been made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their
g e n d e r ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. ......... ...................................... 4 5

4-15 How often participants were made to feel uncomfortable due to their gender.... 46

4-16 Observed changes in the construction industry concerning the status of
women in the past five to ten years. ................ ........... ............. .... ........... 47

4-17 Respondents who would support a young man in entering the construction
in d u s try ............. ......... .. .. ......... .. .. ......... .................................... 4 9

4-18 Respondents who would support a young woman in entering the construction
in d u s try ............. ......... .. .. ......... .. .. ......... .................................... 4 9

4-19 Type of firm employing the participants. ................ .............................. 50

4-20 Type of work performed by the construction company employing the
respondents .............................. ............ .. ......... ............ 51










The next question concerned the perception of the participants that they had to

choose between career advancement and having a personal life or family. Of the 60

participants who responded to this question, two responded "Strongly agree," 15

"Agree," 14 were "Neutral/no opinion," 17 "Disagree," and 12 "Strongly disagree" (Figure

4-31). The average opinion of the participants to this question was a 2.63, which tended

towards a "Disagree." The median response for this question was a 3 which would tend

towards a "Neutral/no opinion."



18 -

16 -

14

12 -

10 -

8

6

4-

2

0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion

Figure 4-31. I have had to choose between a career advancement and a family or
personal life (n=60).

The participants were then asked if they believed that they had limited

opportunities with their current employer due to their gender. Of 61 participants, four

stated "Strongly agree" that their opportunities were limited, seven "Agree," eight were

"Neutral/no opinion," 25 "Disagree," and 17 "Strongly disagree" (Figure 4-32). For the

responses to this question, the average opinion was 2.28 while the median was a 2.




60









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION

By

Jennifer E. Stanley Albertson

August 2010

Chair: Jimmie Hinze
Cochair: R. Raymond Issa
Major: Building Construction

While women continue to enter the construction industry, this segment of

employees is not as significantly involved in the industry as male employees. Many

factors are relevant when explaining why this disjointedness occurs, some of which can

be contributed to the general culture of the construction industry. Three of the major

factors that come into play are barriers, organizational structures and policies in the

workplace. The barriers include such issues as education and training of the

employees and the recruitment practices of the companies. Organizational structures

are primarily the location of the work, such as working at the home office or job-site, and

the work hours required by the employees. Policies comprise such issues as

acceptance of the women by their companies and peers as well as the opportunities for

growth within their organization.

Prior studies have addressed issues that women in construction have faced in

Western Europe, Australia, and in some locations within the United States.

Researchers have focused on perceptions of the women, both by their male

counterparts and of the female worker's satisfaction. While many of these issues are









industry in 2007 while 219,000 worked in the industry in 2008 (U.S. Department of

Labor 2009).

Table 2-4. ACE Mentor Program of America, 2009. National sponsors. Types of
companies involved in recruiting young women into the construction industry.
Contractor (C), Engineer (E), Architect (A), Subcontractor (S), Other (0).
Company Name C E A S O
AECOM X X X
American Bar Association Forum on the
Construction Industry X
American Institute of Architects X
American Society of Landscape Architects X
Associated Builders and Constructors X
Associated General Contractors X
Charles N. Thonton and Company, LLC X
Construction Industry Round Table X
EMCOR Group X
Gilbane Building Company X
The Haskell Company X
International Interior Design Association X
International Masonry Institute X
International Union of Bricklayers and Alliance
Craftworkers X
Limbach Facility Services X
McGraw-Hill Construction X
Mechanical Contractors Association of America X
National Action Council for Minorities in
Engineering X X
National Association of Women in Construction X X
Parsons Brinckerhoff X
Professional Services Incorporated X
Seyfarth Shaw LLP X
Thornton Tomasetti X
Turner Construction X
U.S. Green Building Council X
United Technologies X
National Association of Women in Construction, 2009, ACE Mentor Program,
http://www.nawic.org/nawic/Students.asp?SnlD=1081659595









11 with AA/AS (16.9%), 21 with BA/BS (32.3%), and eight with Masters (12.3%). Of the

eleven "Other" education responses, three had "some college," and four had J.D.

degrees.

Other, 6.2% H.S Diploma, Vocational,
Other, 6.2%
J.D., 6.2% 20.0% 1.5%

Some
College,
4.6%







BA/BS AA/AS
16.9%
32.3%


Figure 4-4. Highest educational level held by survey participants (n=65).

The extent of the participants' career experience in the construction industry

ranged from one year to 50 years, with the average career length being 19.0 years

(Figure 4-5). Two participants worked for one year or less in the industry; two

participants worked for fifty years. The remaining 61 respondents have the following

experience breakdown: five participants (7.7%) had experience between two and five

years; eleven (16.9%) had between six and 10 years; thirteen (20.0%) had 11 to 15

years; ten (15.4%) had 16 to 20 years; five (7.7%) had 21 to 25 years of experience;

nine (13.8%) had 26 to 30 years of experience; three (4.6%) had 31 to 35 years; two

(3.1 %%) had 36 to 40 years of experience; three (4.6%) had 41 to 45 years of

experience. There were no respondents who worked between 46 to 49 years.











Other
27.7%


Personal interest
in the industry,
24.6%


Construction is a
Answered an ad family business
for a job 23.1%
24.6%

Figure 4-10. How participants became involved in the construction industry (n=65).


No
6.2%


Figure 4-11. Likelihood that the participants will continue in the construction industry
(n=65).

For the participants who indicated that they would remain in the industry, each was

asked how long they would continue working in construction. Thirteen respondents

stated that they would remain in the industry for zero to five years. Nine answered that









For the "Treatment" variable, 57 respondents were found to have valid responses

for all questions. The answers ranged from a total of five (3 participants) to 24 (1

participant). The mean for this grouping was 12.96 and the median was 13.

When looking at the education level for this analysis, 10 participants had a high

school diploma, 10 participants had an AA/AS, 17 participants had a BA/BS, and seven

had a masters degree. The mean for the responses for the "Treatment" grouping for the

respondents with a high school diploma was 10.36. The mean for the responses with

AA/AS degrees was 14.00. The mean for the respondents with BA/BS degrees was

12.82. The respondents with a masters degree had a mean response of 16.71. The

positive correlation with the Treatment variable implies that the work environment was

worse (higher value of Treatment) when the respondent had more education.

The average hours worked per week were grouped according to the participants

who worked an average of less than or equal to 45 hours per week and those who

worked more than 45 hours per week. The total number of participants was 54, with 26

participants working for 45 hours or less and 29 working for more than 45 hours per

week. The mean for the former was 11.73 with a median of 12; the mean for the latter

was 13.86 with a median of 13. The work environment was worse (higher value of

Treatment) with longer work hours.

In analyzing the results to the recruitment of women by the construction

companies, the group was split with 16 indicating that their company did not recruit

women while 40 indicated that their company did actively recruit women. For the two

groups, the mean for the affirmative group was 12.37 while the group indicating a









Over 18 years of Under 6 years of
age age, 14.3%
14.3%





6-10 y ars of age
1.4%





15-18 years of age
50.0%



Figure 4-9. Age of each respondent's youngest child (n=14).

The NAWIC members were asked a series of questions pertaining to their entry

into the industry, their desire to remain in the industry, and the type of career path they

anticipated having over the next two years. Respondents were asked how they initially

entered the construction industry (Figure 4-10). Sixteen respondents (24.6%) had a

personal interest in the construction industry while another 16 answered an ad for a

construction job. Fifteen respondents (23.1%) became involved because construction

was a family business. The remaining 18 (27.7%) entered for other reasons, such as

working for a temporary agency, networking through friends or contacts in the industry,

or through their spouse who started a construction-related company.

While the participants entered the industry for a variety of reasons, many of them

expect to remain in construction. Of the 65 respondents, 61 or 93.8% answered "Yes"

when asked if they would continue to work in the industry while four, or 6.2%, indicated

that they would not (Figure 4-11).









Opinion Results for All of the Respondents

The final section of the survey was opinion-based and utilized a Likert Scale to

gage the responses of the participants. The topics covered a range of questions,

including such issues as the respondents' acceptance in the company, respect by their

peers, pressure to perform, educational opportunities, and balancing work and personal

responsibilities. The possible answers were Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral/no

opinion, Agree, and Strongly agree. A value was assigned to each response from one

to five, with one being Strongly disagree and five equaling Strongly agree. While not all

65 participants answered each of the questions, the total number of respondents for

these questions ranged from 57 to 61.

The first statement that the participants were asked to address was, "I am

respected less than if a male was performing my job." The average opinion to this

statement was 2.41 and the median was 2. This indicated a tendency to "Disagree" with

this statement. The 61 participants answered the question with "Strongly agree" having

one response, "Agree" with 14 responses, "Neutral/no opinion" with eight responses,

"Disagree" with 24 responses, and "Strongly disagree with 14 (Figure 4-28).

The next question that the participants were asked concerned the pressure to

work harder than their male counterparts. Specifically, they were asked, "Do you feel

that you have to work harder than a male performing the same job?" Of the 60

participants who replied to this question, the responses were as follows: six "Strongly

agree," eighteen "Agree," twelve were "Neutral/no opinion," 16 "Disagree," and six

"Strongly disagree" (Figure 4-29). The average opinion to this question was a 2.97 and

the mean was a 3, which tended to be "Neutral/no opinion."









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Almost sixty percent of all women in the United States were part of the labor force

in 2008 (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Of these, approximately 68 million women,

39.5% worked in management, professional, and related occupations, 33.1% worked in

sales and office positions, and 20.6% worked in the service industry (U.S. Department

of Labor 2009). Even though women comprised 46.5% of the entire workforce within

the United States, only 8% of the women held positions as construction managers while

another 0.9% worked in other nontraditional jobs such as natural resources,

construction, and maintenance occupations (U.S. Department of Labor 2009).

Nontraditional employment is defined as one in which women account for 25% or

less of the total employed persons in a specific business. Construction is only one of

many careers defined as nontraditional in which women are involved. Other industries

that are most widely associated with being predominantly male include such professions

as architects, detectives and police officers, computer programmers, engineers,

machinists, fire fighters, and pilots.

The Women's Bureau is a federal agency that was established to track practices

and policies that impact the "welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working

conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable

employment" (Women's Bureau 2009). According to this agency, in 2008 the total U.S.

work force was 154.3 million people and women comprised 46.5% of this total number.

This number was based on the persons who are over the age of 16 and are either

looking for work or are currently working. Table 2-1 illustrates the number of employed

people in the construction trade categories by gender and percent.









not specific to the construction industry, they significantly impact a woman's access,

achievement, and continuance in the field of construction.

This study is designed to investigate the experiences of women who work in

construction in the state of Florida and whether the participants have observed or

experienced discriminatory practices, barriers to advancement, or general acceptance

within their respective employers. Members of ten of the twelve Florida chapters of the

National Association of Women in Construction comprised the stratified study to

address whether the three factors of barriers, structures, and policies have impacted the

participants' careers.

The results were compared by analyzing the group as a whole and then by looking

at the perception of a variable defined as "Treatment." This variable comprised issues

of respect, pressure to work harder, limited opportunities within their companies, pay,

and public recognition. The results determined that many of the studied variables

impacted the likelihood that a subset of respondents would have a specific experience

within the industry. It was also determined that such variables as education, size of the

firm, and recruitment practices of the company had a statistically significant impact on

the probability that the respondents would face obstacles in their careers.









Based on the Likert Scale for this study, the average participant would tend towards

"Disagree" for this question.



25 -


20 -


15 -


10 -


5


0
Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion

Figure 4-32. I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender
(n=61).

The participants were asked if they were included in company functions by their

male counterparts. Of the 60 responses to this question, 18 stated that they "Strongly

agree," 25 "Agree," 12 were "Neutral/no opinion," one "Disagree," and four "Strongly

disagree" (Figure 4-33). The average opinion for this question was a 3.87, which would

tend towards "Agree" on the Likert Scale for this study. The median opinion was 4,

which would indicate that the respondents tended towards "Agree."

On a related topic, an opinion question asked whether the participants were invited

to socialize with their male counterparts during the work week. Of the 60 participants

who responded to this question, sixteen stated that they "Strongly agree," 21 "Agree,"

ten were "Neutral/no opinion," eight "Disagree," and five "Strongly disagree" (Figure 4-










less than $50 million per year, with the average company performing over $600 million

in projects per year and with the mean value being about $10 million.

Another way to look at the size of the companies for whom the respondents

worked was to look at the number of employees. Out of the 60 participants who

provided information, the size of the companies ranged from having one employee to

26,000 employees, with the average being 1,323 employees (Figure 4-22) and with the

median number of 45 employees.




Subcontractor Civil/heavy
Other, 8.7% Construction
trade highway, 4.1%
management
Retail, 6.6% 6.1% 14.5%

Institutional
8.7%




Healthcare
11.2%
Commercial
18.9%


Government Design/build
15.3% 13.8%

Figure 4-20. Type of work performed by the construction company employing the
respondents (n=196).










Over $500 Less than $1
million, 11.4% million, 2.3%
$101-$500 million
15.9% $1-$5 million
36.4%

$51-$100
million
2.3%
$41-$50
million
2.3%

$31-$40
million, 2.3%
$21-$30 million
4.5%
$11-$20 million \$6-$10 million
6.8% 15.9%


Figure 4-21. Annual revenue of the construction companies employing the respondents
(n=44).





14 13 13
12 11







2
0




1 2-5 6-10 11-20 21-50 51-100 101-250 More
Than
250

Figure 4-22. Number of employees the respondents' employing construction
companies (n=60).

In addition to asking about the number of employees who worked for the

construction companies, specific information was sought on the number of female

employees who worked for the firms. For the 54 responding participants, the number of









careers. Research participants were asked various questions, ranging from the type of

construction firm involved, the level of education or training afforded the participants, to

whether they had faced discrimination or gender-bias in their current positions. Their

answers were reviewed to determine what types of barriers they had faced in their

professional lives and whether they had suffered due to their gender.

Scope and Limitations

The basic research for this study focused on the experiences that women have

encountered in their career paths. As with other studies, the data is only as good as the

answers that are provided. While the surveys were emailed to the members of ten of

the twelve NAWIC chapters in Florida, only a portion of the available respondents

provided feedback.

The use of a stratified study was implemented because the women were

presumed to have similar experiences to one another, as they all work in the state of

Florida, for construction companies, and were all members of a trade organization that

focused on furthering women's involvement and success within the construction

industry. The women were provided a survey that allowed their answers to be

organized in such a way to reflect what is currently occurring in the construction industry

and what women were experiencing in their careers. The results of the survey are

provided later in this study.

No previous studies were found that proved that women who work for larger

general construction firms have a greater acceptance within the organization and tend

to have greater career options and advancement. Many larger companies are involved

with NAWIC and other associations that recruit minorities into the industry. It can also

be inferred from this first statement that women who work for smaller companies or for









valuable to a company in that their investment in their career is perceived as less

focused (Dainty and Lingard 2006).

The conclusions of these investigations have focused on the obstacles that

women face in construction. The results include a myriad of underlying issues,

including the existence of physiological and psychological barriers; organizational

barriers that have prevented women's entry, success, and retention in the industry; and

the pressure to balance work-life and their career responsibilities. Many of these issues

are present regardless of whether a female employee works in construction, another

nontraditional industry, or in a more traditional field such as education or healthcare.

While women are not excluded from participating in construction, there is an

industry-wide culture that has to be overcome. The building industry is one that

requires a significant commitment to one's project. Long hours and working on

weekends are expected of those who work in the industry. Hard work is rewarded in

terms of promotion, raises, bonuses, and recognition.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for

construction managers in 2008 was $38.10 per hour (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

2009). In a position such as a construction manager, an individual would earn a median

wage of $79,240 annually (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009). Women are not

excluded from being successful in the industry, but their participation in management is

limited. As stated earlier, only 8% of all construction managers were women. If women

are afforded the same career opportunities as their male peers, the reasons for the

gender gap are not apparent.









for companies earning more than $100 million in annual revenue which resulted in a

mean of 14.17 and a median of 13.00. When comparing the means of the first two

groups, z=0.289 for a two tailed significance. A result of 1.96 or greater would indicate

a significant difference between the groups.

When looking at the size of the company based on the number of employees, the

two groupings were those companies with less than or equal to 45 total employees (12

participants) and companies with more than 45 employees (26 participants). The mean

for the former group was 14.17 while the mean for the latter group was 12.58. The

median for both subgroups was 13.00. The means were compared for this variable

which resulted in z=0.68 (two-tailed), indicating that no significant difference was found

between the two groups.

The gender of the participant's direct supervisor was also analyzed to determine

whether Treatment was a factor that was influenced by gender. The 40 participants

with a male boss were found to have a mean response of 12.30 and a median of 12.00.

The eight participants with a female boss were determined to have a mean response of

14.75 with a median response of 14.50. When comparing the means based on the

gender of the supervisor, the computed z=1.75 (two-tailed). This finding indicated a

tendency towards there being a significant difference between the groups due to the

supervisor's gender.

The Treatment variable was examined in relation to the possibility of the

construction company actively recruiting women. Forty participants who indicated that

their company did actively recruit women had a mean response of 12.38 with a median

response of 12.00. The sixteen respondents who stated that their employing company









negative answer was 14.81. The work environment for women was not as good for

those respondents who worked in firms that did not recruit women.

Four questions were answered by relationships between Strongly disagree,

Disagree, Neutral/no opinion, Agree, or Strongly agree. For the statement regarding

whether the respondent had to choose between a career and a family or personal life,

the responses were Strongly disagree (11), Disagree (15), Neutral/no opinion (13),

Agree (15), and Strongly agree (2). The means of the Treatment variables for each

type of response were 10.36, 13.60, 13.15, 14.53, and 13.04, respectively. When

respondents were conflicted over choosing between work and family, Treatment value

was higher.

The statement concerning the inclusion of the participants in company functions

had responses of Strongly disagree (3), Disagree (1), Neutral/no opinion (11), Agree

(24) and Strongly agree (18). The means of the Treatment variable for these responses

were Strongly disagree (18.33), Disagree (17.00), Neutral/no opinion (15.09), Agree

(12.58), and Strongly Agree (11.06). That is, Treatment values were smaller (better

work environment) when respondents were included in company functions.

The responses for the statement that questioned whether the participants were

invited to socialize included four participants who Strongly disagree, eight participants

who Disagree, ten participants who were Neutral/no opinion, 19 participants who Agree,

and 16 participants who Strongly agree. The means for these responses were 17.75,

13.63, 16.30, 12.68, and 9.69, respectively. The work environment was better (less

Treatment value) when respondents were asked to socialize during the work day.









Develop a scorecard for the construction firms to utilize for self-evaluation. This would
help the firms determine if they need to address their perceived treatment of
female employees based on the results of their internal study.

Professional trade associations should invite guest speakers to association functions to
sensitize professionals to the issues that affect women in construction.

Future research recommendations that would continue the study of the barriers,

organizational structures, and policies that exist in construction include suggestions

such as:

Repeat the study on a larger scale, either by including the NAWIC chapters throughout
the United States or by including other professional trade organizations such as
Professional Women in Construction (PWC).

Utilize an interview-style survey rather than an electronic survey. The face-to-face
survey would allow for the confirmation of certain details of responses that were
lacking when performing an electronic survey

Further examine if differences exist within the stratified group of women, such as race or
other socio-economic factors.









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

The focus of this study was to investigate the experiences of women in

construction who work in Florida. The participants were chosen based on their

affiliation with the NAWIC chapters throughout the state. The purpose of the study was

to draw on the experiences of participants from a variety of construction and

construction-related careers, ranging from those women who work for large general

contractors, to smaller subcontracting firms, to women-owned small business

enterprises. All of these participants would have unique professional experience, but

would still have a common theme of women working in construction, a predominantly

male industry. Since this particular group was currently employed in the industry, dealt

with these issues on a regular basis, and were members of an organization associated

with the advancement of women in construction, their responses would be most

informative concerning the occurrences of any barriers to their development and growth

in the industry.

Survey Questionnaire

In order to determine whether the women had experienced any obstacles in their

career paths, a survey was created that was designed to investigate the existence of

these barriers, policies or organizational structures. The barriers that women face

encompass such issues as education, training, children, and family responsibilities. The

policies and structures that were investigated concerned such issues as acceptance by

their male peers, where the women work (i.e. in the field or in the office), and

recruitment.















Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Figure 4-29. I feel pressure to work

30
25
20
15
10
5 J ^
0 -^-------------


Neutral/No
Opinion
harder than


Agree


Strongly Agree


my male peers (n=60).


Strongly Disagree Neutral/No Agree Strongly Agree
Disagree Opinion
Figure 4-30. I think there is acceptance in my company of women in construction
(n=61).


I


I


l E


J


7









responses which allowed for the use of 64 degrees of freedom when determining a two-

tailed t-value of 1.671 when using a 95% confidence value. The average for the

responses provided for those supporting a young man to enter the construction industry

was 1.477, while the average for those supporting a young woman in the construction

industry was 1.523. The difference between the averages is 0.046. The variance was

0.472 for a young man and 0.597 for a young woman, with a difference of 0.125. The t-

statistic for the results computed to be t = [1.523 1.477]/square root

[(0.597/65)+(0.472/59)] where t = 0.360. Since the tabulated t-value is 2.000 and the

calculated t-statistic is 0.360, there is not a significant difference between the two

results. To determine if the variances of the two groups differed significantly, the

Fisher's-F Standard Variable was used. The standard deviation for those supporting a

young man was 0.687 while it was 0.773 for those supporting a young woman. The

difference between standard deviations was 0.086. In looking at the variances, the ratio

of 0.597/0.472 equals 1.2648. The tabulated F-value for 64 degrees of freedom with a

confidence level of 95% is 1.53. Because the difference between the two variances is

0.1305, the variance is not statistically significant. Based on this analysis, the response

of the two groups were essentially similar.

Employment Types for All of the Respondents

The second section of the survey was primarily concerned with the type of

construction companies that employed the participants. Out of a total of 62 respondents,

21 worked for general contractors; nine for construction management companies; one

for an architectural firm; two for engineering firms; thirteen worked for subcontractors;

and sixteen worked for other construction-related businesses (Figure 4-19). When

answering the type of work the participant's company performed, the respondents were
















Statement to be Etmailed to Participants


V1arLh 21101<

To: Patential Study Padrcipantn

Subject: Womel In Corsiljuttiojn

We, the M.E. RLinikej' S. School of Building Consrluctian ai the UJriveritly ol' I'lHriJ
are coniductji: a study ill the estate olr F' ;d. L' 1. Ic ..i;. Hlartni in CtnsuriILuL in. Tie"
ticus of the study is to examine ba~rrlen and organizational policies or structures that
affect the career path of women in. cojnstmrrion.

The study will be conducted Thimtngl an anonymous emailed survey in which a variety of
questions will be asked about the experiences of respondents related to their current
employers. There arc no risks associated with aial ticllatJi1. in this srudy and the siurve
can be completed in about five minutes. A copy ofrhe results summary will be provided
to any interested participant by sending a separate mail to my attention at the below
address. Naturally, you arm asked to answer only those questions that you feel
comnfbrtab[l i answering. You cman rcfise to answer any qu.-stion for any reason.

Your individual rcsponscs will be kept strictly oou tdoutial to the extent provided by law,
Them' 4r; no dircul beinjiofts y.ui fuor pardxipating in this study. Rcscarxi data will be
sumnarizcd so that the identity of individual participants will be concealed. No
compensation will )1 prov:idcd for your puaticipation. You have our siccre thanks for
partlikrpling in tiis vthil able study

Sincerely,


1enni Ir Si'nley
nuildirng Cor,'TmrucliOn 1Graduale Si.ideni.
Phrne: (407) 376-0246 I':: i352) 32.-~60:6 ImTna: junniiK:ru9Laly(iI.uledu

Dr. immrnie 1 linre
Professor, Direror of the CenIer irt Construction Saf-fty ad I .OSs ConLrtl
V.1 Rlisker, St. Schmil l oi LLildi i CIAriatuciLiLif
IJniversitv of t lori da
Phone: '(52) 273-1167 L;ax: (352fj 392-9606 I.mail: hir.:ial.edu


I'.S. 1or jiformiatiotn about participant rights, please contac- the Iniversity o"f Florida
Ir.situtional Review Board at i:352)1 392-.433 or lEnmall: lJR2.1iufl.edu.


Approveni by
ULiversity of Florida
Inititulional Review Board 02
Protocol # 2q10-U-C228
or Use Trrough 03-15-2011




Full Text

PAGE 1

1 PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION By JENNIFER E. STANLEY ALBERTSON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

PAGE 2

2 2010 Jennifer E. Stanley Albertson

PAGE 3

3 To my family

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee, Dr. Jimmie Hinze, Dr. R. Raymond Issa, and Dr. E. Douglas Lucas for your help in assisting me with this study. Dr. Hinze, thank you for the many meetings in your office and assistance with the revisions, especially with the survey. I also appreciate your suggestions in looking at the data from various perspectives that I originally did not consider. I would also like to thank my parents, husband and children for your continuous support throughout the last two years. I especially thank my husband and children for your patience and understanding as I worked to complet e not only the initial research but the analysis associated with the data received. Without your constant support, this thesis would not have been possible. Last, but not least, I would like to thank the many women who are members of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in the state of Florida especially those who participated in this study Each of the NAWIC chapters in the state w as responsive and allowed me access to their members, which was critical to completing this study. Thank you so very much for agreeing to participate in my research and to provide me with your honest opinions concerning your experiences in the industry. It was a pleasure to correspond with all of you and your members in completing this study

PAGE 5

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 7 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 13 Statement of Purpose ............................................................................................. 13 Scope and Limitations ............................................................................................. 14 Organization ........................................................................................................... 15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 16 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 2 8 Survey Questionnaire ............................................................................................. 28 Sample Selection .................................................................................................... 30 Survey Analysis ...................................................................................................... 31 4 ANALYSIS OF RESULTS ....................................................................................... 34 Demographics of All of the Respondents ................................................................ 34 Employment Types for All of the Respondents ....................................................... 48 Opinion Results for All of the Respondents ............................................................ 57 Pearson Correlation Analysis Results ..................................................................... 66 5 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS ..................................................................................... 73 Barriers ................................................................................................................... 74 Organizational Structures ....................................................................................... 75 Policies ................................................................................................................... 76 6 CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................................... 79

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6 APPENDIX A SURVEY ................................................................................................................. 83 B APPROVAL LETTER FROM UNIVERSITY IRB02 ................................................. 87 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 89 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 90

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 A breakdown of occupations held by women in the construction industry in 2008. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Labor Womens Bureau 2009. Numbers are given in thousands. ....................................................................... 17 2 2 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction degrees in the Florida state univer sity system in 2008. ...................................... 23 2 3 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction degrees in the Florida state university system in 2009. ...................................... 23 2 4 ACE Mentor Program of America, 2009. National sponsors. Types of companies involved in recruiting young women into the construction industry. Contractor (C), Engineer (E), Architect (A), Subcontractor (S), Other (O). ......... 25 3 1 NAWIC Chapters in the State of Florida, Region 3 ............................................. 30 3 2 Questions from the survey and their relationship to the barriers (B), organizational structures (S), and policies (P) that may impact on the careers of women in construction. ................................................................................... 32 4 1 Professional Organizations Supported by Employing Construction Companies ......................................................................................................... 56 4 2 Pearson Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relati onship of survey variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents. ..................... 67 4 3 Kendalls Taub Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relationship between the gender of the direct supervisor and recruitment by employing companies variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents. .............. 72

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 NAWIC chapters from Florida that participated in this study. .............................. 35 4 2 Type of position held by the survey participants. ................................................ 36 4 3 Primary work location for survey respondents. ................................................... 36 4 4 Highest educational level held by survey participants. ....................................... 37 4 5 Years of experience of survey participants within the construction industry. ...... 38 4 6 Average number of hours worked per week by survey participants. ................... 39 4 7 Personal status of the participants. ..................................................................... 40 4 8 Respondents who have children under the age of 18 living in their households. ........................................................................................................ 40 4 9 Age of each respondents youngest child. .......................................................... 41 4 10 How participants became involved in the construction industry. ......................... 42 4 11 Likelihood that the participants will continue in the construction industry. .......... 42 4 12 Length of time the respondents will remain in the industry. ................................ 43 4 13 Expected career path of the participants. ........................................................... 44 4 14 Participants were been made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their gender ................................................................................................................ 45 4 15 How often p articipants were made to feel uncomfortable due to their gender. ... 46 4 16 Observed changes in the construction industry concerning the status of women in the past five to ten years. ................................................................... 47 4 17 Respondents who would support a young man in entering the construction industry. .............................................................................................................. 49 4 18 Respondents who would support a young woman in entering the construction industry. .............................................................................................................. 49 4 19 Type of firm employing the participants. ............................................................. 50 4 20 Type of work performed by the construction company employing the respondents. ....................................................................................................... 51

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9 4 21 Annual revenue of the construction companies employing the respondents. ..... 52 4 22 Number of employees the respondents employing construction companies. .... 52 4 23 Number of female employees who work in the construction companies represented by the respondents. ........................................................................ 53 4 24 Highest position held by a female in each respondents employing construction company. ........................................................................................ 54 4 25 Does the employing construction company actively recruit women? .................. 55 4 26 Gender of the supervisor of the respondents ..................................................... 55 4 27 Level of education held by the responde nts supervisor in relation to their own education. ................................................................................................... 56 4 28 I am respected less than if a male was performing my job. ................................ 58 4 29 I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers. ............................................ 59 4 30 I think there is acceptance in my company of women in construction. ............... 59 4 31 I have had to choose between a career advancement and a family or personal life. ....................................................................................................... 60 4 32 I have limited opportunities within m y organization because of my gender. ....... 61 4 33 I am included in company functions by my male counterparts. .......................... 62 4 34 I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week. ........ 63 4 35 My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family or personal responsibilities arise. .......................................................................................... 63 4 36 My pay is less than that of my male counterparts. .............................................. 64 4 37 The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of female counterparts. ........................................................................................... 65 4 38 My employer would allow me to further your education or training compared to My company provides reimbursement to me for furthering my education or training. ......................................................................................................... 66

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10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S AACE Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimators ABC Association of Builders and Contractors AGC Associated General Contractors AIA American Institute of Architects ASPE American Society of Professional Estimators CMAA Construction Management Association of America DBIA Design Build Institute of America GC General Contractor MAGIC Mentoring a Girl in Construction NAHB National Association of Home Builders NAWIC National Association of Women in Construction PMI Project Ma nagement Institute PWC Professional Women in Construction

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11 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction PERCEPTIONS OF THE WORK ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION By Jennifer E. Stanley Albertson August 2010 Chair: Jimmie Hinze Cochair: R. Raymond Issa Major: Building Construction While women continue to enter the construction industry, th is segment of employees is not as significantly involved in the industry as male employees. Many factors are relevant when explaining why this disjointedness occur s, some of which can be contribut ed to the general culture of the construction industry. Th r ee of the major factors that come into play are barriers, organizational structures and policies in the workplace. The barriers include such issues as education and training of the employees and the recruit ment pr a c tice s of the companies. Organizational structures are primarily the location of the work, such as working at the home office or jobsite, and the work hours required by the employees Policies comprise such issues as acceptance of the women by their companie s and peers as well as the opportunities for growth within their organization. Prior studies have addressed issues that women in construction have face d in Western Europe, Australia, and in some locations within the United States. Researchers have focused on perceptions of the women, both by their male counterparts and of the female workers satisfaction. While many of these issues are

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12 not specific to the construction industry, they significantly impact a womans access, achievement, and continuance in the field of construction. This study is designed to investigate the experiences of women who work in construction in the state of Florida and whether the participants have observed or experienced discriminatory practices, barriers to advancement, or gener al acceptance within their respective employers. Members of ten of the twelve Florida chapters of the National Association of Women in Construction comprised the stratified study to address whether the three factors of barriers, structures, and policies have impacted the participants career s. The results were compared by analyzing the group as a whole and then by looking at the perception of a variable defined as Treatment This variable comprised issues of respect, pressure to work harder, limited opportunities within their companies, pay, and public recognition. The results determined that many of the studied variables impact ed the likelihood that a subset of respondents w oul d have a specific experience within the industry. It was also determined that such variables as education, size of the firm, and recruitment practices of the company had a statistically significant impact on the probability that the respondents would face obstacles in their careers.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Construction is a traditionally maledominated industry that women have been increasingly entering and holding significant positions over the last three decades. While women are involved in various aspects of the construction business, this segment of the available work force is under represented in the industry. As of 2008, a total of 67,876,000 women made up the available labor force in the United States, but only a small percentage of all women, approximately 1.6%, worked in construction (Department of Labor 2009). Many factors are relevant when explaining why women are not significantly involved in the construction industry. Chapter 2 discusses obstacles that have adversely impacted the opportunities for women in the industry. In performing the liter ature review, previous studies have shown that these barriers are present in markets throughout the United States, Australia, and in other Western civilized countries. This study is designed to investigate the experiences of women who work in construction in the state of Florida and whether the participants have observed or experienced discriminatory practices, barriers to advancement, or general acceptance of women by their respective employers. Statement of Purpose This study was intended to examine the career experiences of women who work in the construction industry in the Florida market. The women were all members of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and were currently employed in the industry. The focus of this study was intended to determine what barriers, organizational structures, or policies have been experienced by the women in their

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14 careers. Research participants were asked various questions ranging from the type of construction firm involved, the level of education or training afforded the participants, to whether they had faced discrimination or gender bias in their current positions. Their answers were reviewed to determine what types of barriers they had faced in their professional lives and whether they had suffer ed due to their gender. Scope and Limitations The basic research for this study focused on the experiences that women have encountered in their career paths. As with other studies, the data is only as good as the answers that are provided. While the surv eys were emailed to the members of ten of the twelve NAWIC chapters in Florida, only a portion of the available respondents provided feedback. The use of a stratified study was implemented because the women were presumed to have similar experiences to one another, as they all work in the state of Florida, for construction companies, and were all members of a trade organization that focused on furthering womens involvement and success within the construction industry. The women were provided a survey that allowed their answers to be organized in such a way to reflect what is currently occurring in the construction industry and what women w ere experiencing in their careers. The results of the survey are provided later in this study. No previous studies were found that proved that women who work for larger general construction firms have a greater acceptance within the organization and tend to have greater career options and advancement. Many larger companies are involved with NAWIC and other associations that recruit minorities into the industry. It can also be inferred from this first statement that women who work for smaller companies or for

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15 subcontracting companies with more technical or heavy equipment focuses such as sitework, electrical, or mechanical firms have a different experience in term s of acceptance and promotion. While this study does not focus on this particular presumption, the outcome may result in an opportunity for further study. Organization T his chapter is the first of six chapters that will cover the investigation of this study. The prior research that has been performed on issues faced by women in the construction i ndustry is discussed in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses the methodology of the research. Chapter 4 interprets the findings of this study. Chapter 5 is a summary of the findings of the study Chapter 6 i ncludes the conclusions for the investigation and f urther recommendations

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16 CHAPTER 2 LIT ERATURE REVIEW Almost sixty percent of all women in the United States were part of the labor force in 2008 (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Of these, approximately 68 million women, 39.5% worked in management, professional, and related occupations, 33.1% worked in sales and office positions, and 20.6% worked in the service industry (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Even though women comprised 46.5% of the entire workforce within the United States, only 8% of th e women held positions as construction managers while another 0.9% worked in other nontraditional jobs such as natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Nontraditional employment is defined as one in whic h women account for 25% or less of the total employed persons in a specific business. Construction is only one of many careers defined as nontraditional in which women are involved. Other industries that are most widely associated with being predominantl y male include such professions as architects, detectives and police officers, computer programmers, engineers, machinists, fire fighters, and pilots. The Womens Bureau is a federal agency that was established to track practices and policies that impact t he welfare of wageearning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment (Womens Bureau 2009). According to this agency, in 2008 the total U.S. work force was 154.3 million people and women comprised 46.5% of this total number. This number was based on the persons who are over the age of 16 and are either looking for w ork or are currently working. Table 21 illustrates the number of employed people in the construction trad e categories by gender and percent.

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17 Table 2 1. A breakdown of occupations held by women in the construction industry in 2008. Adapted from the U.S. Department of Labor Womens Bureau 2009. Numbers are given in thousands. Occupation Employed Both Sexes Total Employed Female Employed Percent Female Cost estimators 100 10 10.0 Construction and building inspectors 93 10 9.5 Construction managers 1,244 102 8.2 Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters 85 6 6.5 Painters, construction/maintenance 647 41 6.3 Surveying and mapping technicians 105 5 4.9 Sheet metal workers 136 7 4.8 Welding, soldering, and brazing workers 598 28 4.7 Helpers, construction trades 113 5 4.1 Crane and tower operators 69 3 3.7 Maintenance and repair workers 461 16 3.5 Construction laborers 1,651 51 3.1 First line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers 844 23 2.7 Carpet, floor, and tile installer/repairer 224 5 2.3 Cement masons, concrete finishers, and terrazzo workers 112 2 2.2 Drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers 209 4 2.1 Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers 397 8 2.0 Insulation workers 874 9 1.9 Operating engineers and other construction equipment carpenters 1,562 24 1.5 Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators 398 6 1.5 Pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters 606 8 1.4 Roofers 234 3 1.3 Dredge, excavating, and loading machine operators 60 1 1.2 Electricians 874 9 1.0 Millwrights 60 1 0.9 Structural iron and steel workers 77 1 0.9 Brickmasons, blockmasons, and stonemasons 230 1 0.4 Womens Bureau, 2008 The breakdown of the nontraditional job types as shown in Table 2.1 is deriv ed from a list that included a total of 123 total professions tracked by the Department of

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18 Labor Womens Bureau. Twenty eight of the total number, or 22.8% are construction related which was a relatively small percentage of the overall number of nontradi tional jobs that women held. When analyzing these specific twenty eight job types, the average number of women employed in each of these jobs was 14,700, r e presenting 3.43% of the workers Considering that the average number of people (men and women combined) was 430,800, women represented a very small portion of the total tracked workers. As they enter these nontraditional occupations, barriers, policies, and organizational structures tend to inhibit the career opportunities of women. The barriers that exist include education and training, experience, and recruiting by the construction industry. These barriers are the first dynamic at play in preventing women from holding significant positions within the industry. Other factors that affect women from h olding such positions in the market are not necessarily industry specific in nature, but are more pronounced in the construction industry. These issues include work hours, location of the work, the value of the worker, and opportunities for advancement. The presence of such obstacles has resulted in barriers to the advancement of the womens careers. Prior related research was conducted in the United States and abroad in Australia and Western Europe. Similar experiences were discovered while studying the career experiences of the women that focused on such issues as discrimination on the job, lack of or delays in promotions, concerns with balancing family and work responsibilities and the effect that these conditions had on their career path and pressures to perform. Studies that occurred in the United States focused on specific types of issues that have surfaced and affected womens career paths and job satisfaction. Such research

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19 has shown that women, during the course of their career, are faced with indirect discrimination, industry wide accepted practices that exclude women, and other constraints. While some studies have focused on women working in the subcontracting trades sector (Dabke et al. 2008), others have investigated the presence of differences between the abilities of male and female construction managers (Arditi and Balci 2009). Women construction managers who participated in the study by Arditi and Balci were compared against their male peers on certain competencies that are deemed as necess ary in order to be an effective project manager. These traits include such qualities as interpersonal skills, planning, organization, being results oriented, and leadership. The results show that while women may not be well represented in numbers, their actual abilities in leadership positions and performance of tasks are equal to, and in some cases slightly greater than, their male peers (Arditi and Balci 2009). The outcome of that particular study implied that the lack of success of women in the constr uction industry was not the ability of the individual but an external barrier that was present in the industry. In another study, women who worked in the subcontracting trades were surveyed in order to determine the level of satisfaction with their jobs. While the previous research had focused on the paraprofessional career paths held by women, the study by Dabke et al. was centered on women who were skilled tradeswomen and primarily worked on the jobsites. The results of th at study indicated that while the respondents had satisfaction gained through the pride in their work, a gap existed between this pride and actual career satisfaction. The participants had issues with such things as pay,

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20 benefits, and job security which the researchers further indicat ed would need to be addressed by the industry in order to attract more women in to construction. Other researchers have focused on women in construction trades outside of the United States. These studies have investigated the experiences of women in the in dustry in such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Scotland (Dainty et al. 2003; Dainty and Lingard 2005; Pringle and Winning 1998; Lingard and Lin 2004). The researchers have focused on the perceptions of women within the industry who have jo ined such organizations as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women who work in the trades, and civil engineers. The women who were members of the Australian NAWIC were s urvey ed to determine the level of job satisfaction and organiz ational commitment to their employers. The research indicated that the women in the industry were dedicated to their jobs and the level of commitment that was required, but that the industry should also look at ways in which it could become more supportiv e and desirable to future female employees. Previous assumptions that were made concerning women putting their families before their work were discounted in that study. The conclusion of the study was centered on the need to not only retain women in the industry but to bring strong female candidates into the business in order to address future labor needs. Another s tudy focused on the differences between the career paths of men and women in the construction field. In Dainty et al. (2003), women and men w ho held similar positions within the engineering industry were studied to determine whether they had differed in terms of entry into the industry, promotion, and retention. Many of the women entered the industry and had their career paths stall due to events that occurred

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21 in their personal lives, such as marriages and the births of children. Many of the candidates whose career paths were tracked experienced greater growth once they were no longer in their childbearing years or chose to focus on their careers, but they still encountered barriers to their upward mobility. Examples of these barriers include such issues as long work hours, the requirement to travel for work, and discriminatory treatment by their male managers. Work life ta sks have been primarily attributed to being a womans responsibility. These tasks are defined as being mostly homebased matters, such as childcare, elder care, and housework or chores. These tasks are ones that predominantly fall more often on the female partner within a marriage. As women enter the workforce, not just the construction industry, the work life balance can be a factor in the ir participation in their career path. As children become sick, parents become older, and general tasks at home occur, women, who are considered the traditional primary caregivers, are generally the ones who take care of these issues rather than their male partners. It is with these tasks where the idea of human capital theory can affect the success a femal e has within an industry, particularly in construction. Human capital theory is a human resources ideology that centers on the perceived value that an individual has to an organization. The more committed in terms of time and output the employee offers the company, t he greater value that employee is given in terms of a company asset. While women may have the same number of hours logged, projects managed, and profits earned as men in the workforce, the womens level of commitment is perceived as lower especially if they are married, have children, or have other responsibilities outside of the company. As such, they are deemed as less

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22 valuable to a company in that their investment in their career is perceived as less focused (Dainty and Lingard 2006). The conclusions o f these investigations have focused on the obstacles that women face in construction. The results include a myriad of underlying issues, including the existence of physiological and psychological barriers ; organizational barriers that have prevented womens entry, success, and retention in the industry ; and the pressure to balance work life and their career responsibilities. Many of these issues are present regardless of whether a female employee works in construction, another nontraditional industry, or in a more traditional field such as education or healthcare. While women are not excluded from participating in construction, there is an industry wide culture that has to be overcome. The building industry is one that requires a significant commitment to ones project. Long hours and working on weekends are expec ted of those who work in the industry. Hard work is rewarded in terms of promotion, raises, bonuses, and recognition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for construction managers in 2008 was $38.10 per hour (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009). In a position such as a construction manager, a n individual would earn a median w age of $79,240 annually (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009). Women are not excluded from being successful in the industry, but their participatio n in management is limited. As stated earlier, only 8% of all construction managers were women. If women are afforded the same career opportunities as their male peers, the rea sons for the gender gap are not apparent.

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23 Women are not necessarily raised to consider construction as a possible career choice. This is a basic barrier to the entry of women into the industry especially in terms of education and training. An accredited education in construction management, experience, and advanced training skills are all becoming more accepted requirements to compete in the market As a result, women are attending such institutions and earning deg r ees in this field, but in lower numbers than thei r male counterparts. In the state of Florida, three accredited cons truction programs exist through the state university system at Florida International University, University of Florida, and the University of North Florida (American Council for Construction Education 2009). The breakdown for the total number of male and female students enrolled in the undergraduate programs in Florida is shown in Table 22 and Table 23. Table 2 2 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction degrees in the Florida S tate U niversity S ystem in 2008. Institut ion Total Enrolled Total Male Total Female Florida International University 369 299 70 University of Florida 399 341 58 University of North Florida 341 314 27 Fall Student Enrollment in State University System Institutions 2010, Degree criteria includes 15.1000 Construction/Building Technology, 15.1001 Construction/Building Technology, and 15.1005 International Construction Management www.flbog.edu/resources/i ud/enrollment_results.php Table 2 3 Total number of students enrolled in accredited undergraduate construction degrees in the Florida S tate U niversity S ystem in 2009. Institution Total Enrolled Total Male Total Female Florida International University 502 330 72 University of Florida 359 308 51 University of North Florida 268 253 15 Fall Student Enrollment in State University System Institutions 2010, Degree criteria includes 15.1000 Construction/Building Technology, 15.1001 Construction/Building Technology, and 15.1005 International Construction Management www.flbog.edu/resources/iud/enrollment_results.php

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24 Coupled with the lower numbers of women being educated to work in the industry, the recruitment of women is significantly ignored. National organizations to recruit women into the industry such as NAWIC focus on women who are currently involved in the field and providing networking capabilities, rather than providing a major emphasis on generating interest of the youth. Many regional NAWIC chapters work in conjunction with other associations to provide programs throughout the United States such as Mentoring a Girl in Construction (MAGIC), Rosies Girls, and the ACE Mentor Program, but many of these programs are not available in all fifty states (National Assoc iation of Women in Construction 2009). While NAWIC is interested in promoting construction as an option to young women who may be interested in the industry, the number of construction companies who would potentially employ these women is far more numerous than the ones involved in the recruitment process. For instance, the ACE Mentor Prog ram has both national sponsors and featured sponsors that include engineers, architects, contractors, and trade associations. In Table 24, twelve out of the twenty six sponsors, or 46.2% of the total, are construction companies (National Association of Women in Construction 2009). The gender gap is widened when looking at the retention of women in the construction industry. Construction companies typically do not provide recruitment to younger women in order to attract them into the field. Once women are in the industry, the retention of skilled women workers and highly competent managers is low compared to men in construction. For women, 258,000 worked in the construction

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25 industry in 2007 while 219,000 worked in the industry in 2008 (U.S. Department of Labor 2009). Table 2 4 AC E Mentor Program of America, 2009. National sponsors. Types of companies involved in recruiting young women into the construction industry. Contractor (C), Engineer (E), Architect (A), Subcontractor (S), Other (O). Company Name C E A S O AECOM X X X American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry X American Institute of Architects X American Society of Landscape Architects X Associated Builders and Constructors X Associated General Contractors X Charles N. Thonton and Company, LLC X Construction Industry Round Table X EMCOR Group X Gilbane Building Company X The Haskell Company X International Interior Design Association X International Masonry Institute X International Union of Bricklayers and Alliance Craftworkers X Limbach Facility Services X McGraw Hill Construction X Mechanical Contractors Association of America X National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering X X National Association of Women in Construction X X Parsons Brinckerhoff X Professional Services Incorporated X Seyfarth Shaw LLP X Thornton Tomasetti X Turner Construction X U.S. Green Building Council X United Technologies X National Association of Women in Construction, 2009, ACE Mentor Program, http://www.nawic.org/nawic/Students.asp?SnID=1081659595

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26 While some of this 15.1% decrease in the total number o f workers can be attributed to the recession that has resulted in layoffs in many private sector companies, part of the decrease can be related to frustrations of the workers with the industry and organizational confines. In one study, researchers found t hat women were willing to leave the construction industry altogether in order to take a position in another job that would pay the same due to lesser opportunities, less satisfaction with supervision, and less satisfaction with the job in general (Dabke et al. 2008). In an industry where labor shortage is a factor in many markets, the potential alienation of women by the construction industry should not be ignored. Indirect discrimination includes such behaviors as making assumptions about ones abilitie s based on preconceived stereotypes. Women have been assumed to be the fairer sex and the more sensitive, softer gender. In a construction setting, especially on a job site, a woman may be assumed to be incapable of carrying a heavy tool, lifting materials, operating equipment, or being able to work in dirty conditions. In response to these attitudes, women generally have to negotiate the good old boy network and grow a tough exterior in order to not let the biases affect their focus on success. The ex planations behind the low percentage of women in the construction industry are a combination of many factors. Women are not recruited from a young age to consider construction as a viable career. This leads to this portion of the population not becoming educated or trained for working in the industry. When women do enter the industry, they enter as primarily administrative help rather than in a professional or managerial capacity. Once women are in the industry the structures within the individual companies provide further constraints. The lack of response to the demands

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27 of the female workers can be contributed to the general culture of the building industry. Whereas women face the same responsibilities as their male peers in the workplace, other factors affect their career. The retention of the women can also be attributed to the frustrations faced by the women in terms of the organizational structures of the companies for which they work. As a result, the industry is failing to take full advantage o f women as a possible labor source in the workforce.

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28 CHAPTER 3 MET HODOLOGY The focus of this study was to investigate the experiences of women in construction who work in Florida. The participants were chosen based on their affiliation with the NAWIC chapters throughout the state. The purpose of the study was to draw on the experiences of participants from a variety of construction and construction related careers, ranging from those women who work for large general contractors, to smaller subcontracting firms, to womenowned small business enterprises. All of these participants would have unique professional experience, but would still have a common theme of women working in construction, a predominantly male industry. Since this particular group was currently employed in the industry deal t with these issues on a regular basis and were members of an organization associated with the advancement of women in construction, their responses would be most informative concerning the occurrences of any barriers t o their development and growth in the industry. Survey Questionnaire In order to determine whether the women had experienced any obstacles in their career paths, a survey was c reated that was designed to investigate the existence of these barriers, policies or organizational structures. The barriers that women face encompass such issues as education, training, children, and family responsibilities. The policies and structures that we re investigated concerned such issues as acceptance by their male peers, where the women work (i.e. in the field or in the office), and recruitment.

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29 The survey evolved over the course of reviewing prior studies on women and their experiences in the construction industry. The participants in the research had indicated that certain constraints in their careers had occurred that resulted in their exclusi on from holding more significant positions within the construction firms. In considering what possible obstacles could be faced, the survey began to take shape. Several factors were important to investigate, including the level of acceptance by the women within their organizations, not only with the company as a whole but with their peers; the location of their work, be it in the field or office, and whether that impacted their ability to succeed; the way in which the participants entered the industry and how it related to their desire to remain or leave the industry. The survey is included in Appendix A. In addition to basic questions regarding the women and their individual companies, the respondents were asked to provide examples of either discriminatory or exclusionary instances they had experienced in their career s. The survey was intended to cover a variety of construction companies, in terms of size and type of work performed. The study also allowed the respondents to denot e in which NAWIC chap ter they were a member. This was necessary in order to track the differences bet w een each of the geographical locations. All participants were emailed an electronic link to the survey as it was hosted on Surveymonkey.com. The survey was organized in such a way that it was separated into three distinct sections. Section I focused on personal or biographical information provided by the anonymous respondent. The first section included such questions as personal status (married, single, divorced), years o f experience in the industry, and intention to remain in the industry. Section II dealt with the industry and the company

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30 for whom the participant worked. Without naming the company, questions from this section included size and type of construction company in which they worked, positions held by women in their particular company, and the composition of the companys supervisors. Section III was a short opinion portion, with answers based on the Liker t Scale ranging from 1 Strongly Agree to 5Strongly Di sagree. Sample Selection Since this study was intended to survey the career experiences of women who work in the construction industry in the Florida market, each of the NAWIC chapters within the state w as contacted. The state of Florida encompasses all o f Region 3 as organized by the national NAWIC organization. The chapters there were contacted are listed in Table 31. Table 3 1 NAWIC Chapters in the State of Florida, Region 3 Chapter Number Location Total Number of Members 0036 Tampa 37 0041* Miami 22 0072 Tallahassee 15 0073 Greater Orlando 69 0078 Greater Ft. Lauderdale Not provided 0087 Greater Palm Beach Not provided 0284 Volusia County 14 0297 Southwest Florida 17 0317 Tri County 12 0355 Space Coast 21 0364 Greater Jacksonville 7 0372 Greater Gainesville 15 National Association of Women in Construction, www.nawic.org An asterisk indicates a broken electronic link provided on website. The number of members for each chapter was provided by the Membership Chairs and / or Presidents. Because of the NAWIC national guidelines, none of the twelve chapters were able to provide individual email addresses. It was established with each of the chapters how the members would be able to access the sur vey. For some, the surveys were sent

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31 electronically to the Membership Chair who then forwarded the link to their members. For others, the electronic link was uploaded to their chapter website for a specific period of time so that the members could access the survey. Once the survey was reviewed and approved by the Universitys Institutional Review Board and ready for distribution, the questionnaire link was distributed to each of the NAWIC chapters in Table 31. The participants were able to select the electronic link which would then direct them to the survey hosted on Surveymonkey.com. Survey Analysis Once the surveys we re completed and the data h a d been received, the results w ere tabulated into categories and compared to determine variables that ha d significant degrees of variances between the groups. In order to determine how each of the barriers, structures, and policies might prevent women from having significant career growth in the industry, all responses were compared utilizing a Pearson Correlation analysis. Another Pearson Correlation analysis was performed on a singular variable defined as Treatment to determine the overall perception of the participants and their career experiences. Of the twelve NAWIC chapters in the state of Florida, ten chapters participated in this study. Of these ten chapters, the total possible number of respondents was 229. A total of 65 members participated in this study, yielding a 28.4% response rate. The results from the participants were analyzed to determine if the experiences of the women involved in this study had a similar experience regardless of where they lived or for whom they worked or if there was a more female friendly location and type of firm in the state of Florida.

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32 Table 3 2 Questions from the survey and their relationship to the barriers (B), organizational structures (S), and policies (P) that may impac t on the careers of women in construction. Question B S P Years of experience within the construction industry? X X Current position in the company? X X X Education level? X How did you initially enter the construction industry? X X X What is your personal status? X How many children under the age of 18 live with you? X What is the age of our youngest child? X What is the average number of hours you work per week? X X X Do you primarily work in the field or in the office? X X What type of career path do you see yourself having in the next 2 years? X X X Will you continue to work in the construction industry? X X X Have you ever been treated in a manner that made you feel uncomfortable because of your gender? X X How often are you made to feel uncomfortable because of your gender? X X Have you observed any changes in the way that women are treated in the construction industry in the past 5 to 10 years? X X X I would support a young man I personally know to enter the construction industry. X X I would support a young man I personally know to enter the construction industry. X X Type of firm you currently work for? X X X Type of work your company performs? X X X What size company do you work for? X X X How many employees are in your company? X X X How many women work in your company? X X X What is the highest position within your company held by a woman? X X X In your experience, does your company actively recruit women? X X Is your direct supervisor or manager a male or female? X X Education level comparing you and your manager or supervisor X What professional trade organizations are supported by the company you work for? X X I am respected less than if a male was performing my job. X X I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers. X X I think there is acceptance in my company of women in construction. X X I have to choose between career advancement and a family or personal life. X

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33 Table 32. Continued Question B S P I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender. X X I am included in company functions by my male counterparts, i.e. company golf functions, bbqs, seminars, etc. X X I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week, such as going to lunch or sharing ideas during breaks. X X My direct supervisor understands and works wi th me when family/personal responsibilities arise. X My pay is less than that of my male counterparts. X X X The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of the female counterparts. X X My employer would allow me to further my education or training related to the industry, such as taking evening classes. X My company provides reimbursement to me for further training or education related to the industry. X Appendix A

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34 CHAPTER 4 ANAL YSIS OF RESULTS T welve NAWIC chapters were contacted to invite their members to participate in this study. A total of ten chapters, or 83.3%, of the Region 3 chapters agreed to distribute the survey to their members. The participants were asked questions regarding their perso nal biographical information, questions about their employer s, and their opinions regarding their experiences in the construction industry. The results of the study w er e grouped and analyzed to determine whether the participants had experienced obstacles within their careers. Demographics of All of the Respondents O f the 229 possible participants who received electronic links to the survey, 65 members responded to the survey, representing 28.4% of the possible participants. All of the participants were female. Figure 41 depicts the total number denoted in parenthesis, of participants from each of the NAWIC chapter s. The percentage values represent the percentage of the total responses from each chapter. The c hapters with the most members include the Greater Orlando Chapter with 69 members ; Tampa with 37 members ; Miami with 22 members ; and the Space Coast chapter with 21 members. T he Greater Orlando chapter wa s the largest, and it also had the most members (17) who partic ipate d in the survey. Many of the chapters with less than 20 members had a response rate of between 1 and 7 members

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35 Figure 4 1. NAWIC chapters from Florida that participated in this study ( n= 65). While some of the chapters had only a few participants who responded to the survey, the respondents held a variety of positions within each of the companies by wh om they were employed. Figure 42 shows the type of position held and the percentage of the respondents who hold that position The participants ranged from 17 administrative or support staff (26.2%) ; two accounting personnel (3.1%); one project engineer (1.5%) one superintendent (1.5%), one estimator (1.5%), and one business development office r (1.5%); five project managers (7.7%) ; ten executives (15.4%) ; and 16 owners (24.6%). The eleven Other positions held by the participants included such job titles as assistant project manager (1), architect (1), civil engineer (1), attorney (2), human resources director (1), office manager (1), safety (1), and sales (3). Participants were asked if they worked primarily in the field or in the office (Figure 4 3). Of the 64 responses, nine, or 14.1%, worked in the field while 55 participants, or 85.9%, worked in the office. Chapter 36 Tampa 21.5% Chapter 41 Miami 9.2% Chapter 72 Tallahassee 9.2% Chapter 73 Greater Orlando (17) 26.2% Chapter 284 Volusia County 1.5% Chapter 297 SW Florida 9.2% Chapter 317 Tri County (1), 1.5% Chapter 355 Space Coast (7) 10.8% Chapter 364 Greater Jacksonville (1) 1.5% Chapter 372 Greater Gainesville (6), 9.2%

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36 Figure 4 2 Type of position held by the survey participants ( n= 65) Figure 43 P rimary work location for survey respondents ( n= 64) The highest level of education held by the respondents was also surveyed T he results show ed that n ineteen of the sixty five participants (29.2%) d id not have either a college degree or some college in their background (Figure 4 4) Thirteen had high school diplomas, one had a GED, one ha d vocational education, one ha d a certification, and thr ee attended business school. The ranges of participants with degrees include d Adminstrative/ support, 26.2% Project Engineer, 1.5% Estimator, 1.5% Accounting 3.2% Superintendent, 1.5% Business Development, 1.5% Project Managers, 7.7% Executives, 15.4% Owners 24.6% Other, 16.9% Field 14.1% Office 85.9%

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37 11 with AA/AS (16.9%), 21 with BA/BS (32.3%), and eight with Masters (12.3%). Of the eleven Other education responses, three ha d some college, and four ha d J.D. degrees. Figure 44 H ighest education al level held by survey participants ( n= 65) T he extent of the part icipants career experience in the construction industry ranged from one year to 50 years with the average career length being 19.0 years (Figure 4 5) Two participants worked for one year or less in the industry; two participants worked for fifty years. The remaining 61 respondents have the following experience breakdown: five participants (7.7%) had experience between two and five years ; eleven (16.9% ) had between six and 10 years; thirteen (20.0%) had 11 to 15 years; ten (15.4%) had 16 to 20 years; five (7.7%) had 21 to 25 years of experience; nine (13.8%) had 26 to 30 years of experience; three (4.6%) had 31 to 35 years ; two (3.1%%) had 36 to 40 year s of experience; three (4.6%) had 41 to 45 years of experience. There were no respondents who worked between 46 to 49 years. H.S Diploma 20.0% Vocational, 1.5% Some College, 4.6% AA/AS 16.9% BA/BS 32.3% Masters, 12.3% J.D., 6.2% Other, 6.2%

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38 Figure 45 Y ears of experience of survey participants within the construction industry ( n= 65) A question was asked about the number of hours that the participants worked each week. The responses ranged from 25 to 85 hours of work per week ( Figure 46 ) Of the 63 participants who responded to this question, four participants (6.4%) work ed less tha n 40 hours per week The remaining 59 wor ked the following number of hours : 18 participants ( 28. 6 % ) work ed an average of 40 hours ; 1 0 participants ( 1 5 .9% ) work ed between 41 and 45 hours ; 11 participant s ( 17. 5 % ) work ed between 46 and 50 hours ; 16 particip ants ( 2 5.4% ) work ed between 51 and 60 hours ; 2 participants ( 3 2 % ) work ed 61 to 70 hours ; 2 participants ( 3. 2 % ) work ed more than 70 hours, one of which work ed an average of 80 hours per week and the other worked 85 hours. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 No.of Years of Experience

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39 Figure 46. A verage number of hours worked per week by survey participants ( n= 63) The NAWIC members who participated in the survey were asked about their marital status, the number of children they ha d and the age of the children who lived i n their household. Figure 47 illustrates the marital status, whether the respondents we re single, married, separated/divorced, or living with their partner. Fifty two percent of respondents indicated that they we re married. The respondents who we re either single or separated/divorced constitute d 43.1% of the total number of participants. Those living with their partner comprised 4.6% of the study. Of the 63 participants who responded to the question, 49 ( 7 7.8% ) had no children living in the home with them. The remaining 14 (22.2%) were evenly split between having one or two children ( Figure 4 8 ) The data in Figure 49 depicts the ages of the youngest children as they were grouped according to school age level, such as preschool, elementary, middle, high school and adult. Of the fourteen with children living in their household, two we re between zero and five years of age, three we re between six and ten years of age, seven we re between 15 and 18 years of age, and two we re over 18 years of age. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 25 30 35 37.5 40 45 50 55 60 70 80 85 1 1 1 1 18 10 11 6 10 2 1 1

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40 Figure 47 P ersonal status of the participants ( n= 65) Figure 48 R espondents who have children under the age of 18 living in their households ( n= 63) Single, 23.1% Married 52.3% Divorced/ Separated 20.0% Living with Partner 4.5% No children, 77.8% 1 Child 11.1% 2 Children 11.1%

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41 Figure 49 Age of each respondent s youngest child ( n= 14) The NAWIC members were asked a series of questions pertaining to their entry into the industry, their desire to remain in the industry, and the type of career path they anticipated having over the next two years. R espondent s were asked how they initially entered the constructi on industry (Figure 4 10) Sixteen respondents ( 24.6% ) had a personal interest in the construction industry while another 16 answered an ad for a construction job. Fifteen respondents ( 23.1% ) became involved because construction wa s a family business. T he remaining 18 (27.7%) entered for other reasons, such as working for a temporary agency, networking through friends or contacts in the industry, or through their spouse who started a constructionrelated company. While the participants entered the indust ry for a variety of reasons, many of them expect to remain in construction. Of the 65 respondents, 61 or 93.8% answered Yes when asked if they would continue to work in the industry while four, or 6.2%, indicated that they would not (Figure 411). Under 6 years of age, 14.3% 6 10 years of age 21.4% 1518 years of age 50.0% Over 18 years of age 14.3%

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42 Fig ure 410. How participants became involved in the construction industry ( n= 65) Figure 411. L ikelihood that the participants will continue in the construction industry ( n= 65) For the participants who indicated that they would remain in the industry, each was asked how long they would continue working in construction. Thirteen respondents stated that they would remain in the industry for zero to five years. Nine answered that Personal interest in the indistry, 24.6% Construction is a family business 23.1% Answered an ad for a job 24.6% Other 27.7% No 6.2% Yes 93.8%

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43 they would remain in construction for six to ten years. Four would remain in the field for 11 to 15 years; five for 16 to 20 years; six for more than 20 years. Three answered As long as possible and Unknown. Seven respondents stated they would remai n in construction until they reached the age of retirement (Fig ure 412) Figure 41 2 L ength of time the respondents will remain in the industry ( n= 4 7 ) The participants were asked abou t the type of career path they expected to have over the course of the next two years. Four choices were given : remain in the same position with the same company, work in a different position with the same company, work in a different position for a different construction company, or work for a firm that is not in construction. Of the 63 respons es to this question, 47 participants ( 21.0% ) answered that they would continue to work in the same position for the same company. Eight ( 12.9% ) stated that they would work in a different position for the same company while six ( 9. 5 % ) indicated that they would work in a dif ferent position for a different 0 5 years, 22.9% 6 10 years 18.8% 1115 years 8.3% 1620 years 10.4% 2130 years 12.5% As long as possible 6.3% Retirement, 14.6% Unknown, 6.3%

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44 construction company. T wo participants ( 3.2% ) stated that they expect ed to work for a firm that is not in construction (Figure 4 13) Figure 41 3 Ex pected career path of the participants ( n= 65) A series of questions in the survey dealt with gender issues Participants were asked if they were made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their gender, the frequency in which the participants were made to feel uncomfortable, and whether they felt as though the ind ustry had changed within the last five to ten years in regards to how women were treated. O f 64 respon dent s, 28 indicated that they had been made to feel uncomfortable at work while 36 stated that they had not (Figure 4 14) The respondents were asked to provide s ome examples of how they were made to feel uncomfortable. The following were a few of the r esponses: Many subcontractors will whistle at me, flirt with me, or treat me unfairly. I then introduce myself as the owner and they quickly change their attitude. Reference made to you'll always be a mother instead of being viewed as a professional woman. Told what to wear and not wear to a job site by a worker. I expect to work in the same position for the same company, 74.6% I expect to work in a different position for the same company 12.7% I expect to work in a different position for a different construction company 9.5% I expect to work for a firm that is not in construction 3.2%

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45 As an Engineer for 27 years, there are too many incidents to identify. Starting with several professors making passes in class, other professor point blank telling me I don't think women should be engineers. As a utility engineer I had developers and engineers blatantly ignore me in meetings and talk to my draftsman because obviously [he] mu st be the boss. H ave had senior engineers make comments in front of clients such as T hat was a really good idea, for a girl or Gee isn't it nice to have a woman treat us to dinner when paying a bill as any PM (Project Manager) would. There is still qui te a bit of resistance to accepting women as managers in the construction world. While I would love to report it has changed but just a few weeks ago I was in a very high level meeting and had a potential investor look past me, towards one of my staff and say Y ou mean SHE is your boss? Everyone else was floored, too, so I guess the response of others is some progress. Constantly feel I am held to a different standard; Being told when you wear lipstick all I want to do is kiss you ; had a vendor grab my breasts and offer me $500 to find out what I had under my skirt ; being told I don't know why women get an education, they are just going to get pregnant and stay home anyway ; getting less of a raise then my male counterparts Figure 41 4 P articipants were been made to feel uncomfortable at work due to their gender ( n= 64) The re were varying frequenc ies when participants were made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender ( Figure 415) The options included weekly, mont hly, a few times per year, and never. Out of the 61 responses received, 37 stated Yes 43.7% No 56.3%

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46 that they had never been made to feel uncomfortable while 24 respondents were made to feel uncomfortable in some way Of this group of 24 women, two were made to feel uncom fortable weekly, five on a monthly basis, and seventeen were made to feel uncomfortable a few times per year. Figure 41 5 How often participants we re made to feel uncomfortable due to their gender ( n= 61) P articipants were asked if they felt as though the industry had changed within the last five to ten years in relati on to how women were treated. The possible responses were There is no difference, Women are treated with more respect and have greater opportunities, and Conditi ons are worse for women today. Even though 43.7% of the 64 participants had been made to feel uncomfortable at work out of the same number of 64 participants, 56 (87.5%) of the respondent s indicated that women were treated with more respect and had greater opportunities than in the past Six participants stated that there was no difference over the past five to ten years; two responded that conditions were worse for women (Fig ure 416). A few times per year, 27.9% Monthly 8.1% Weekly 3.3% Never 60.7%

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47 Figure 41 6 Observed changes in the construction industry conce rning the status of women in the past five to ten years ( n= 64) Relating to how the industry had changed in its treatment of women, the respondents were asked whether they would support or encourage a young man or a young woman that they personally knew to enter the construction industry. A total of 65 respondents answered both questions. For both a young man and a young woman who were entering the industry, a total of 40 ( 59.7% ) indicated that they would Strongly agree to support their entry into the industry. For a young man, the responses were Agree with 20 participants, Neutral/no opinion with four, and Disagree with one response (Fig ure 417). For a young woman, the responses were 18 participants indicating they would Agree, five who selected Neutral/no opinion, and two who selected Disagree (Fig ure 418). In order to determine if the respo ndents showed any bias about whether they would recommend a young man versus a young woman to enter the industry a Students t and Fishers f analysis w ere performed. For both questions, there were 65 There is no difference, 9.4% Women are treated with more respect and have greater opportunities 87.5% Conditions are worse for women today 3.1%

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48 responses which allowed for the use of 64 degrees of freedom when determining a twotailed t value of 1.671 when using a 9 5 % confidence value. The average for the resp onses provided for those supporting a young man to enter the construction industry was 1.477, while the average for those supporting a young woman in the construction industry was 1.523. The difference between the averages is 0.046. The variance was 0.47 2 for a young man and 0.597 for a young woman, with a difference of 0.125. The t statistic for the results computed to be t = [1.523 1.477]/square root [(0.597/65)+(0.472/59)] where t = 0.360. Since the tabulated t value is 2 000 and the calculated t statistic is 0.360 there is not a significant difference between the two results. To determine if the variances of the two groups differed significantly, the Fishers F Standard Variable was used. The standard deviation for those supporting a young man was 0.687 while it was 0.773 for those supporting a young woman. The difference between standard deviations was 0.086. In looking at the variances, the ratio of 0.597/0.472 equals 1.2648. The tabulated F value for 64 degrees of freedom with a confidence l evel of 9 5 % is 1.53. Because the difference between the two variances is 0.1305, the variance is not statistically significant. Based on this analysis, the response of the two groups were essentially similar. Employment Types for All of the Respondents The second section of the survey was primarily concerned with the type of construction companies that employed the participants. Out of a total of 62 respondents, 21 worked for general contractors; nine for construction management companies; one for an arc hitectural firm; two for engineering firms; thirteen worked for subcontractors; and sixteen worked for other constructionrelated businesses (Figure 419). When answering the type of work the participants company performed, the respondents were

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49 Figur e 41 7 R espondents who would support a young man in enter ing the construction industry ( n= 65) Figure 41 8 Respondents who would support a young woman in enter ing the construction industry ( n= 65) Strongly agree, 61.5% Agree 30.8% Neutral/no opinion 6.2% Disagree 1.5% Strongly agree, 61.5% Agree 27.7% Neutral/no opinion 7.7% Disagree 3.1%

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50 Figure 41 9 Type of firm employing the participants ( n= 62) asked to select each type of project that applied. Although there were a total of 59 respondents for this particular question, the percentages were based on the overall number of 196 due to multiple responses. The types of construc tion projects that the respondents employers participated in were 8 (4.1%) civil/heavy highway; 37 (18.9%) commercial; 27 (13.8%) design/build; 30 (15.3%) government; 22 (11.2%) healthcare; 13 (6.6%) industrial; 17 (8.7%) institutional; 13 (6.6%) retail; 12 (6.1%) subcontractor trade; and 17 (8.7%) other. Some of the types of construction contained in other include residential, material suppliers, staffing, construction lead services, and legal services (Figure 420). The volum e of work performed by t he compan ies was also obtained through the survey. The companies ranged in siz e from less than one million dollars of projects completed per year to $8 billion in projects completed (Fig ure 421) Out of 44 responses to this survey question, a total of 31 work ed for companies that complete d General contractor, 33.9% Construction management 14.5% Architectural 1.6% Engineering 3.2% Subcontractor 21.0% Other 25.8%

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51 less than $50 million per year, with the average company perform ing over $600 million in projects per year and with the mean value being about $10 million. Another way to look at the size of the companies for whom the respondents worked was to look at the number of employees. Out of the 60 participants who provided information, the size of the companies ranged from having one employee to 26,000 employees, with the average being 1,323 employees (Figure 422) and with t he median number of 45 employees. Figure 420. Type of work performed by the construction company employing the respondents (n=196). Civil/heavy highway, 4.1% Construction management 14.5% Commercial 18.9% Design/build 13.8% Government 15.3% Healthcare 11.2% Institutional 8.7% Retail, 6.6% Subcontractor trade 6.1% Other, 8.7%

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52 Figure 42 1 Annual revenue of the construction companies employing the respondents ( n= 44) Figure 42 2 N umber of employees the respondents employin g construction companies ( n= 60) In addition to asking about the number of employees who work ed for the construction companies, specific information was sought on the number of female employees who worked for the firm s. For the 54 responding participants, the number of Less than $1 million, 2.3% $1$5 million 36.4% $6$10 million 15.9% $11$20 million 6.8% $21$30 million 4.5% $31$40 million, 2.3% $51$100 million 2.3% $41$50 million 2.3% $101$500 million 15.9% Over $500 million, 11.4%

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53 women who work ed for the companies was a relatively small number. The average for the respondents was 53 female employees and the median was five. The number of female employees ranged from one ( 12 responses) to 2,000 (Fig ure 42 3 ) Figure 42 3 N umber of female employees who work in the construction companies represented by the respondents ( n= 54) The participants were asked to provide the highest position that a woman h e ld within their employing company. Of the 65 responses, the responses covered a wide range o f positions. The positions included administrative / support and project manager with four responses each; accounting and estimator with one response each; business development wit h two responses; operations manager with three responses; executive with 18 responses; owner with 20 responses; other with eight responses (Fig ure 424) Included in other were such job titles as d irector (3), attorney (1), controller (3), and school superintendent (1). 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 1 2 5 6 10 1120 2150 51100 101250 More than 250 12 16 9 6 6 3 1 1

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54 Figure 42 4 H ighest position held by a female in each respondents employing construction company ( n= 65) The participants were asked about the recruitment practices of their employing companies and if their companies actively recruit ed women. O f 60 respondents 43 ( 71.7% ) stated that their employing companies actively recruit women while 17 ( 28.3% ) stated that they did not actively recruit female candidates (Figure 425). Information was sought regarding the supervisors of the respondents. Specifically, the participants were asked if they had a male or female supervisor. Information was also sought concerning the education level of their supervisors. Out of 51 responses, 43 respondents worked for a male supervisor while eight worked for a female manager (Figure 4 26). Regarding the education level of their supervisors, out of 51 responses, 13 respondents worked for a supervisor who had less education than they had achieved. Fifteen respondents had the same level of education as their supervisors, and 23 had managers with education levels greater than their own (Figure 427). Administrative/ support, 6.6% Accounting 1.6% Estimator 1.6% Business Development, 1.6% Project Manager 6.6% Operations Manager 4.9% Executive 29.5% Owner 32.8% Other 13.1%

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55 Figure 425. Does the employing construction company actively recruit women? (n=60) Figure 42 6 Gender of the supervisor of the respondents ( n= 51) The number and type of professional organizations supported by each respondents company was also examined. The respondents were asked to select each organization that was supported by their employer. Al though a total of 56 participants responded to this question, the overall number of organizations that the Yes 71.7% No 28.3% Male 84.3% Female 15.7%

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56 companies supported totaled 166 (Table 41). Some of the professional organizations included in Other were American Society of Civil Engineers (AS CE), Modular Building Institute (MBI), Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association (FRSA) Florida Bar Association, Florida Educational Facilities Planners Assoc iation (FEFPA), and Florida Water Resources. Figure 42 7 L evel of education held by the respondents supervisor in relation to their own education ( n= 51) Table 4 1 Professional Organizations Supported by Employing Construction Companies Name of Professional Organization Total Number of Respondents Percentage of Respondents Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) 27 45.8% Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) 19 32.3% American Institute of Architects (AIA) 5 8.5% Association for the Advancement of Cost Estimators (AACE) 4 6.8% American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) 5 8.5% Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) 7 15.3% Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) 9 15.3% National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) 52 88.1% National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 6 10.2% Project Management Institute (PMI) 1 1.7% Other 31 40.7%

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57 Opinion Results for All of the Respondents The final section of the survey was opinionbased and u tiliz ed a Likert Scale to gage the responses of the participants The topics covered a range of questions, including such issues as the respondents acceptance in the company, respect by their peers, pressure to perform, educational opportunities, and balancing work and personal responsibilities. The possible answers were Strongly dis agree, Disa gree, Neutral/no opinion, A gree, and Strongly agree. A value was assigned to each response from one to five, with one being Strongly disa gree and fiv e equaling Strongly agree. While not all 65 participants answered each of the questions, the total number of respondents for these questions ranged from 57 to 61. The first statement that the participants were asked to address was, I am respected less than if a male was performing my job. T he average opinion to this statement w a s 2.41 and the median was 2. This indicated a tendency to Disagree with this statement. The 61 participants answered the question with Strongly agree having one response, Agree with 14 responses, Neutral/no opinion with eight responses, Disagree with 24 responses, and Strongly disagree with 14 (Fig ure 42 8 ) The next question that the participants were asked concerned the pressure to work harder than their male counterparts. Specifically, they were asked, Do you feel that you have to work harder than a male performing the same job? Of the 60 participants who replied to this question, the responses were as follows: six Strongly agree, eighteen Agree, twelve were Neutral/no opinion, 16 Disagree, and six Strongly disagree (Figure 429). The average opinion to this question was a 2.97 and the mean was a 3, which tended to be Neutral/no opinion.

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58 The participants were asked if they believed that their company accepted women in construction. Of 61 responses, 29 responded Strongly agree that their company accepted women, 21 Agree, six were Neutral/no opinion, three Disagree, and two Strongly disagree (Figure 43 0 ). The average opinion for this question was a 4.18 which tended towards an Agree on the Likert Scale for this study while the median was 5 which tended towards a Strongly Agree. Figure 42 8 I am respected less than if a male was performing my job ( n= 61) 0 5 10 15 20 25 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 14 24 8 14 1

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59 Figure 429. I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers ( n= 60) Figure 43 0 I think the re is acceptance in my company of women in construction ( n= 61) 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 8 16 12 18 6 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 2 3 6 21 29

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60 The next question concerned the perception of the participants that they had to choose between career advancement and having a personal life or family. Of the 60 participants who responded to this question, two r esponded Strongly agree, 15 Agree, 14 were Neutral/no opinion, 17 Disagree, and 12 Strongly disagree (Fig ure 4 3 1 ). T he average opinion of the participants to this question w as a 2.63 which t e nd ed towards a Disagree. The median response for this question was a 3 which would tend towards a Neutral/no opinion. Figure 43 1 I have had to choose between a career advancement and a family or personal life ( n= 60) The participants were then asked if they believed that they had limited opportunities with their current employer due to their gender. Of 61 participants four stated Strongly agree that their opportunities were limited, seven Agree, eight were Neut ral/no opinion, 25 Disagree, and 17 Strongly disagree (Fig ure 43 2 ). For the responses to this question, the average opinion was 2.2 8 while the medi an was a 2. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 12 17 14 15 2

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61 Based on the Likert Scale for this study, the average participant would tend towards Disa gree f o r this question Figure 43 2 I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender ( n= 61) T he participants were asked if they were included in company functions by their male counterparts. Of the 60 response s to this q uestion, 18 stated that they Strongly agree, 2 5 Agree, 12 were Neutral/no opinion, on e Disagree, and f o ur Strongly disagree (Fig ure 43 3 ). T he average opinion for this question w as a 3 87 which would tend towards Agree on the Likert Scale for this study. The median opinion was 4, which would indicate that the respo ndents tended towards Agree. On a related topic, an opinion question asked whether the participants were invited to socialize with their male counterparts during the work week. Of the 60 participants who responded to this question, sixteen stated that they Strongly agree, 21 Agree, ten were Neutral/no opinion, eight Disagree, and five Strongly disagree (Figure 40 5 10 15 20 25 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 17 25 8 7 4

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62 3 4 ). The average opinion for the participants to this question was a 3.58, which would fall between the Neutral/no opinion and Agree categories. The median response was a 4 which would indicate that the respondents tended towards Agree for this question. Figure 43 3 I am includ ed in company functions by my male counterparts ( n= 60) The participants were asked if they believed that their supervisor was understanding and worked with them when personal responsibilities arose. Of the 56 respondents to this question, 26 stated that they Strongly agree, 21 Agree, and nine were Neutral/no opinion (Figure 43 5 ). No participants selected either Disagree or Strongly disagree for this question. The average opinion for this question was a 4.30, which would tend to fall into the Agree category on the Likert Scale for this study. The median response was a 5, indicating Strongly agree. 0 5 10 15 20 25 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 4 1 12 25 18

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63 Figure 43 4 I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week ( n= 60) Figure 43 5 My direct supervisor understand s and work s with me when family or personal responsibilities arise ( n= 56) 0 5 10 15 20 25 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 5 8 10 21 16 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 0 0 9 21 26

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64 The participants were asked about their compensation and whether they felt as though their pay was less than a male in the company performing the same job. Figure 4 3 6 sh ows how the 59 participants answered this question. Seven respondents indicated Strongly agree; nine respondents Agree; seventeen respondents indicated they were Neutral/no opinion; fifteen respondents Disagree; and eleven Strongly disagree. T h e average opinion to this question was a 2.76, which would lie between Disagree and Neutral/ no opinion. The median response was 3, indicating a Neutral/no opinion. Figure 43 6 My pay is less than that of my male counterpart s ( n= 59) The next qu estion concerned whether male employees received more public recognition than the female counterparts in the respondents company. Of the 59 participants who responded to this question, seven Strongly agreed, 11 Agreed, 13 had Neutral/no opinion, 17 Disagreed, and 11 Strongly disagreed (Fig ure 43 7 ). 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 11 15 17 9 7

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65 T he average opinion for the participants to this question w as a 2. 76 which would tend between a Disagree and Neutral/no opinion on the Likert Scale for this study. The median response was 3, or Neutral/no opinion. Figure 43 7 The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of female counterparts ( n= 59) Two questions concerned education and training. T he respondents when asked if their employer would allow them to further their education or training. Of the 57 respondents to this question, 27 Strongly agree, 21 Agree, six were Neutral/no opinion, two respondents selected Disagree, and one Strongly disagree (Figure 4 3 8 ) The average opinion for this question was a 4.25, or Agree ; the median was 5 or Strongly Agree. T he participants were asked if their compan ies would reimburse them for additional training or education. Out of the 58 respondents to t his question, the opinions for this question were 21 Strongly agree, 18 Agree, nine who were Neutral/no opinion, seven Disagree, and three who answered Strongly disagree. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 11 17 13 11 7

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66 The results showed an average response of 3.81 or Neutral/no opinion, and a median answer of 4, or Agree Figure 43 8 My employer would allow me to further your education or training ( n= 5 7 ) compared to My company provides reimbursement to me f o r further ing my education or training ( n= 58) Pearson Correlation Analy sis Results In the survey, five questions asked about how the respondents were treated within the companies. A single variable was created by simply adding the responses to these five questions. The aggregated variable was assessed to provide a good overall perception about the treatment of the respondents. The five statements that were used to create this singular variable on T reatment were: I am respected less than if a male was performing my job. I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers. I have limited opportunities within my organiz ation because of my gender. My pay is less than that of my male counterparts 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral/No Opinion Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 6 21 26 3 7 9 18 21 Support Further Education Reimburse for Education

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67 The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of the female counterparts. Higher values of this variable would indicate that poor treatment exist ed in the ca re er experiences of the participants. A correlation analysis was performed with this treatment variable and all the other variables Of the responses to 40 survey questions, eight (20.0%) were found to have a statistically significant correlation when using a Pearson Correlation analysis. Relationships were considered statistically significant if the level of var iance was less than 0.05. The eight questions that were strongly related to this perceived treatment of the respondents are shown in Table 42. Table 4 2 Pearson Correlation a nalysis r esults that showed a strong relationship of survey variables and the perceived treatment of the respondents. Survey Question Pearson Correlation Factor Significance (one tailed) Education level of the participant 0.377 0.005 What is the average number of hours you work per week? 0.277 0.020 In your experience, does your company actively recruit woman? 0.250 0.031 I have had to choose between career advancement and a family or personal life. 0.231 0.043 I am included in company functions by my male counterparts, i.e. company golf functions, barbeques, seminars, etc. 0.444 0.001 I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week, such as going to lunch or sharing ideas during breaks. 0.500 0.001 My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family/personal responsibilities arise. 0.399 0.001 My employer would allow me to further my education or training related to the industry, such as taking evening classes. 0.295 0.015

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68 For the Treatment variable 57 respondents were found to have valid responses for all questions. The answers ranged from a total of five (3 participants) to 24 (1 participant). The mean for this grouping was 12.96 and the median was 13. When looking at the education level for this analysis, 10 participants had a high school diploma, 10 participants had an AA/AS, 17 participants had a BA/BS, and seven had a masters degree. The mean for the responses f or the Treatment grouping f or the respondents with a high school diploma was 10.36. The mean for the responses with AA/AS degrees was 14.00. The mean for the respondents with BA/BS degrees was 12.82. The respondents with a masters degree had a mean resp onse of 16.71. The positive correlation with the Treatment variable implies t h at the work environment was worse (higher value of T reatment) when the respondent had more education. The average hours worked per week were grouped according to the participant s who worked an average of less than or equal to 45 hours per week and those who worked more than 45 hours per week. The total number of participants was 54, with 26 participants working for 45 hours or less and 29 working for more than 45 hours per week. The mean for the former was 11.73 with a median of 12; the mean for the latter was 13.86 with a median of 13. The wor k environment was worse (higher value of T reatment) with longer work hours. In analyzing the results to the recruitment of women by the construction companies, the group was split with 16 indicating that their company did not recruit women while 40 indicated that their company did actively recruit women. For the two groups, the mean for the affirmative group was 12.37 while the group indi cating a

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69 negative answer was 14.81. The work environment for women was not as good for those respondents who worked in firms that did not recruit women. Four questions were answered by relationships between Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral/no opinion, Agree, or Strongly agree. For the statement regarding whether the respondent had to choose between a career and a family or personal life, the responses were Strongly disagree (11), Disagree (15), Neutral/no opinion (13), Agree (15), and Strongly agree ( 2). The means of the Treatment variables for each type of response were 10.36, 13.60, 13.15, 14.53, and 13.04, respectively. When respondents were conflicted over choosing between work and family, Treatment value was higher. The statement concerning the inclusion of the participants in company functions had responses of Strongly disagree (3), Disagree (1), Neutral/no opinion (11), Agree (24) and Strongly agree (18). The means of the Treatment variable for these responses were Strongly disa gree (18.33), D isagree (17.00), Neutral/no opinion (15.09), Agree (12.58), and Strongly Agree (11.06). That is, Treatment values were sm a ller (better work environment) when respondents were included in company functions. The responses for the statement that questioned w hether the participants were invited to socialize included four participants who Strongly disagree, eight participant s who Disagree t en participants who were Neutral/no opinion, 19 participants who Agree, and 16 participants who Strongly agree. The means for these responses were 17.75, 13.63, 16.30, 12.68, and 9.69 respectively. The work environment was better (less Treatment value) when respondents were asked to socialize during the work day.

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70 Respondents were asked whether their direct supervisors work ed with them when family or personal issues arose. Of the 54 responses, nine participants were Neutral/no opinion, 20 participants who Agree, and 2 5 participants who Strongly agree. The means of the Treatment variables for each type of response were 16 6 5, 13. 20 and 11. 56 respectively. The work environment was better (less Treatment value) when the respondents indicated that their supervisors would work with them. The final statement concerned whether the participants believed that their company woul d support further education and training. The responses were Strongly disagree (1), Disagree (2), Neutral/no opinion (6), Agree (19), and Strongly Agree (26). The means for these responses were Strongly Disagree (16.00), Disagree (12.50), Neutral/no opinion (17.00), Agree (13.31), and Strongly Agree (11.77). The work environment was better (lower Treatment value) when respondents worked in companies that supported further education. The results of the Treatment variable w ere compared wi t h the annual volume of the construction company, the number of employees for each of the participants employing companies, the gender of the participants direct supervisor, and the likelihood that the company activel y recruited female candidates. The volume of the company was divided into two subgroups, less than or equal to $10 million (22 respondents) and more than $10 million (19 respondents) For the group of participants who worked for a company earning less than or equal to $10 million, the mean for all responses was 13.14 while the median was 13.00. The participants who worked for companies earning more than $10 million had a mean of 13.53 and a median of 13.00. The analysis also looked at the respondents who worked

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71 for companies earning more than $100 million in annual revenue which resulted in a mean of 14.17 and a median of 13.00. When comparing the means of the first two groups, z=0.289 for a two tailed significance. A result of 1.96 or greater would indicate a significant difference between the groups. When looking at the size of the company based on the number of employees, the two groupings were those companies with less than or equal to 45 total employees (12 participants) and companies with more than 45 employees (26 participants) The m ean for the former group was 14.17 while the mean for the latter group was 12.58. The median for both subgroups was 13.00. The means were compared for this variable which resulted in z=0.68 (twotailed), indicating that no significant difference was foun d between the two groups. The gender of the participants direct supervisor was also analyzed to determine whether Treatment was a factor that was influenced by gender The 40 participants with a male boss were found to have a mean response of 12.30 and a median of 12.00. The eight participants with a female boss were determined to have a mean response of 14.75 with a median response of 14.50. When comparing the means based on the gender of the supervisor, the computed z=1.75 (twotailed). This finding indicated a tendency towards there being a significant difference between the groups due to the supervisors gender The Treatment variable was examined in relation to the possibility of the construction company actively recruit ing women. Forty partici pants who indicated that their company did actively recruit women had a mean response of 12.38 with a median response of 12.00. The sixteen respondents who stated that their employing company

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72 did not actively recruit female candidates had a mean response of 14.81 and a median response of 15.00. The means for these respondents were compared and the z factor was found to be 1.70 (twotailed), which indicated that there was a tendency towards there being a significant difference between the groups based on t he answer of the participant. The questions that concerned the gender of the supervisor and the recruitment practices of the construction industry were then compared using the Kendalls Taub Correlation Analysis. The two variables were compared to the Tr eatment variable in order to confirm the differences between their means. The results of the Kendalls Taub Correlation Analysis are given in Table 43. The relationship between the variables is confirmed to be statistically significant in that the level of significance is greater than 0.05. Table 4 3 Kendalls Taub Correlation analysis results that showed a strong relationship between the gender of the direct supervisor and recruitment by employing companies variables and the perceived treatment of t he respondents. Survey Question Correlation Coefficient Significance (one tailed) In your experience, does your company actively recruit woman? 0. 176 0. 062 My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family/personal responsibilities arise. 0. 199 0.0 54

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73 CHAPTER 5 SUM MARY OF FINDINGS The original scope of this study was to examine the experiences of women who currently work in construction in the state of Florida by analyzing the responses received from members of participating NAWIC chapters throughout the state. The responses were used to gage the likelihood that the participants had encountered barriers, organizational structures or policies and whether these obstacles had impacted their careers. The analysis was also intended to determine whether any variables, such as working for a specific size of construction firm or other limitations, would impact the responses received from the participants. When the data from the surveys were analyzed using the Pearson Correlation analysis, the variables that were used to group the respondents were found to have varying effects. W hen factors that comprised the Treatment variable were analyzed, Treatment was determined to have an overall mean of 12.96. When comparing this mean with the spe cific responses to other questions many factor s arose that impacted the findings Key findings of this analysis included: The higher the education level of the participant, the more likely the y were to report the perception of poor treatment. The participants who worked more than 45 hours per week reported a higher tendency being treated poorly. The annual volume of the employing companies did not have any significant association with the perceived treatment of the respondents. The size of the company based on number of employees had only a slight impact on the perception of treatment. The participants who worked for companies with 45 or fewer employees responded that they had a slightly higher likelihood of experiencing poor treatment than those companies with more than 45 employees Participants who had a female supervisor perceived a higher level of poor treatment than those working for a male supervisor.

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74 The participants who worked for construction companies that do not actively recruit wome n reveal ed a higher level of poor treatment. The participants whose responses tended toward Agree when asked if they had to choose between a career and a personal or family life indicated that they had a higher perception of receiving poor treatment. Par ticipants who were not included in company functions by their male counterparts suggested a higher existence of poor treatment. The participants who were not invited to socialize with their male peers during the work week were more likely to indicate a per ception of poor treatment. The construction companies that did not support further education of treatment had a higher probability that the participant would report the perception of poor treatment. Barriers The barriers that were studied included such iss ues as education and training, recruitment of women into the industry, and experience in the industry. In this study, the participants were asked a series of questions, some of which were used to determine the extent to which respondents had experienced these barriers in their career. Forty seven (72.3%) of respondents had some college or college degrees. Of these 47 individuals, fourteen (29.8% ) worked in an administrative capacity within their firms. While women are entering the industry, there are s till a limited number of women who hold significant positions within the industry when compared to their male counterparts. Nineteen of 65 total participants (29.2%) held positions of project engineer, superintendent, estimator, project manager or executi ve. Sixteen (24.6%) of participants were owners of a construction company, but it is unknown what factors led them to become owners of the companies. Nine of 57 participants (15.8%) indicated a Neutral/no opinion, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree response wh en asked if their companies would support them furthering their education. Nineteen of 58 participants ( 32.8%) st ated a Neutral/no opinion, Disagree, or Strongly Disagree answer when asked if their companies would reimburse them furthering their education.

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75 The results indicate that companies might be more willing in philosophy to encourage their employees to further their education, but they would be less willing in actuality to back up this support with a financial commitment. Seventeen of 60 partic ipants (28.3%) indicated that their employer did not actively recruit female candidates. The seventeen respondents spanned all positions within their companies: administrative/ support, accounting, superintendent, estimator, project managers, business development, executives, and owners. Even though executives and owners would be presumed to be able to enact change within their organizations, the five individuals either were unable to do so or would fear facing potential backlash from their employing companies Organizational Structures Organizational structures were defined as the working conditions that, while not specific to construction, were likely to be an issue for women upon entering the construction industry. These structures included work hours, the location of the employees job, and their position within the company. Of fifty nine participants who work more than 40 hours per week, forty one worked more than forty hours a week and fourteen of these participants worked sixty hours or more per week. Each of these individuals generally held higher level positions within the construction company for which they worked, including the positions of project engineer, estimator, owner, executive, and other. When looking at the fourteen participants who work more than sixty hours per week, two had children under the age of 18 who live in their household. Long work weeks detract from the work life balance. Experience is mostly gained in the field by working on the jobsite to learn the work that the tra des do, overseeing the schedule, and managing the construction effort. Nine of 64 (14.1%) of the participants worked in the field; the remaining 85.9% worked in the office. It is understood that in construction that the work is performed in the field on the job site with many of the supporting roles for the projects being handled in the home office. The nine respondents who worked primarily in the field held positions of accounting (1), superintendent (1), project manager (1), executive (1), owner (4), a nd other (1).

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76 Policies The policies that were surveyed in this study included the acceptance of the women by their employing company, their inclusion by their male peers, and the ability to balance the work life responsibilities. Acceptance of the women i n the industry was measured by asking a variety of questions While s ome of the questions were more overt in terms of asking the respondents about their inclusion or acceptance, many were based on how the participants perceived their role in the organization. Regardless of the position held by the respondent, if an indivi dual is accepted, they would feel included in various activities or believe that they would be afforded opportunities with in their company. Twenty eight of 64 respondents (43.8%) answered affirmatively when asked about being made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender The types of positions held by the participants who answered yes to this question included a variety of job titles from administrative/support to project manager to owner. Out of 64 responses to the question concerning changes within the industry over the last 5 to 10 years, 56 individuals (87.5%) indicated that women had greater respect and opportunities than they did in the past. For the two respondents who answered that things were worse than in the past, one was an executiv e within a corporation while the other was an owner of a construction company. For the question asking whether the participant felt there was acceptance by their company of women in the industry 53 o f the 64 respondents (82.8%) answered either with Strongly agree or Agree. The respondents were asked if they were included in company functions and if the y were invited to socialize with male peers. For the question regarding being included in company functions, seventeen of 60 respondents (28.3%) state d that they either Strongly disagreed, Disagreed, or had a Neutral/no opinion. For the question asking whether they were invited to socialize with their male peers, 23 of 60 respondents (38.3%) answered this question with either Strongly disagree, Disagree, or Neutral/no opinion.

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77 If the women were truly accepted in the industry, their peers and employers will include them in formal and informal functions such as company golf tournaments or lunch during the work week. The questions that deal with the less overt ways in which policies that affect women in their careers were also addressed. These sorts of policies were more about the respect that the participants receive for their position or knowledge, the extent to which they have to work har der to prove that they were as capable as their male counterparts, the opportunities that were afforded them due to their work, and the recognition that female employees receive for their work. While the answers were all opinionbased, the responses would determine if the participants face these issues in their career. Of the 61 participants to the question I am respected less than if a male was performing my job, fifteen answered with an affirmative response. While the overall percentage for affirmativ e answers was low, 24.5% of all respondents, the participants were largely individuals who held more significant positions within their organizations including estimator (1), project manager (1), executive (4), and owner (6). When the participants were asked if they felt that they had to work harder than their male peers, 24 of the 60 participants answered with either Strongly agree or Agree. The participants may believe that they were respected as much their male counterparts, but it is evident that they still feel as though they have to work harder to prove themselves. Of 61 respondents to th e question concerning whether the individuals felt as though their opportunities were limited due to their gender, eleven indicated either a Strongly agree or Agree response while eight indicated Neutral/no opinion. The positions held by these individuals included administrative/ support (5), estimator (1), project manager (1), executive (2), owner (6), and other (4). What is unknown is what limitations o f opportunities exist for the executives and owners who responded affirmatively to this question.

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78 Fifty nine participants answered the question regarding whether female employees in their organization received a different response or less recognition than the male employees. Of the 59 respondents, eleven indicated Agree seven indicated Strongly agree, and thirteen responded with Neutral/no opinion, accounting for 52.5% of the entire group. When an individual performs their job well, it is human nature to look for approval and recognition from not only ones peers but ones supervisor or manager.

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79 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS While many of the percentages for the questions may seem relatively low, the stratified group who participated in this study is only a small percentage of women who work in construction. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that 217,000 women worked in construction in 2008. Overall, the women who participated in this study hold positions in similar percentages to the st atistical information. Ten percent of women hold estimator positions and 8.2% of women hold construction management pos itions as indicated in Table 2 1. For this study, one of the sixty five participants was an estimator and five were project managers, 1.5% and 7.7% respectively. The results of the percentages for the three obstacles that were defined ( barriers, organizational structures, and policies ) when applied theoretically to the 217,000 women in the industry, the numbers affected by these potential obstacles are very large Concerning barriers in recruitment 28.3% of the respondents do not believe that their companies actively recruit women. This would mean that potentially over 6 0 000 women who work for construction companies in the U.S. hold si milar beliefs. For the primary location where the women work, 85.9% worked in the office while 14.1% worked in the field. Since the field is where the project is built, more responsibilities for the delivery of the project fall to these employees. If 217,000 w omen work in the industry, based on the findings of this study slightly over 30, 000 of all women in construction would work in the field. Almost half of the participants, 43.8%, had been made to feel uncomfortable because of their gender. For the entire industry, this would mean that over 95,0 00 women would have similar perceptions Forty percent felt that they had to work harder; meaning that over 86, 0 00 of the women employed in

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80 construction would potentially feel the same way. In terms of acce ptance and inclusion by their male peers by being invited to socialize during the work week, over 83, 000 would not be asked to participate. While these results seem fairly pessimistic for women in the industry, 87.5% of the survey participants indicated th at the industry afforded more opportunities and treated women with greater respect than five to ten years ago. While the corporate culture of construction companies may be more demanding for its employees than other industries, the industry rewards its em ployees based on hard work and dedication. The participants were asked to suggest changes that they would like to see implemented in the industry in order to help improve a womans success in the industry. The responses ranged from education and training opportunities, to better hiring processes, to increased numbers of women in more managerial roles. Examples of the responses a re provided. I would like women to have the same management opportunities as men. I would also like to see companie s allowing women to advance their education in order to gain the knowledge and experience required for the upper management opportunities. Wider acceptance of wom e n's co ntributions and see that pay is commensurate with male counterparts Would hope that the indust ry as a whole will continue to recog nize women and advance them into positions comparable to their male counterparts. Also hope that employers will find ways to reimburse all employees for continued education. O n site field experience is the area most women are lacking. They typically do not take construction jobs during summer breaks, etc. to help them gain the field experience that is essential. Women need to get hands on, practical field experience if they desire to go on to management positions. They need to be able to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

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81 More wom e n taking advantage of the advancements that are offered in the industry ; that women would feel less intimidated in the industry. I honestly do not see anything "the industry" can do. Personally, I am not a believer in forced affirmative action. I believe it is a two step forward three steps back proposition as it only builds resentment. The laws are already in place to protect women's fundamental rights, but the bottom line is, you cannot mandate respect. The biggest obst ac l e I see to women advancing is a societal issue. There are people raised to treat women as second class citizens, just as there are people raised to be prejudiced. Until those issues are dealt with, the issue wil l not go away. As women get to positions of authority in firms, hopefully THEY and their husbands will raise their sons and daughters in a manner that promotes fair treatment for all. The opinions given by the participants summarize the issues and obstacl es that women continue to face in the industry. While the industry is improving, there is still room for improvement. The change is not the industrys responsibility, but rather the responsibility of the individuals who manage the companies and can enact change from within the corporate structure. As women enter the industry in greater numbers, their abilities to hold more significant positions within their organizations a re not as limit ed When women gain further training or education and experience, w hether it is supported by their companies or not, this will continue to open opportunities and allow for the obstacles to be less significant factors in their career experiences. As a result of the finding of this study, recommendations could be made to co nstruction companies that would help to improve the work environment for the employees. Some of the suggestions include: Acknowledge that b arriers and discrimination still exist in the industry and womens issues have not been solved. Construction company executives should perform self evaluations of their firms to determine if and to what extent these obstacles impede the careers of their employees.

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82 Develop a scorecard for the construction firms to utilize for self evaluation. This would help the firms determine if they need to address their perceived treatment of female employees based on the results of their internal study. Professional trade associations should invite guest speakers to association functions to sensitize professionals to the issues that affect women in construction. Future research recommendations that would continue the study of the barriers, organizational structures, and policies that exist in construction include suggestions such as: Repeat the study on a larger scale, either by inc luding the NAWIC chapters throughout the United States or by including other professional trade organizations such as Professional Women in Construction (PWC). Utilize an interview style survey rather than an electronic survey. The faceto face survey wou ld allow for the confirmation of certain details of responses that were lacking when performing an electronic survey Further examine if differences exist within the stratified group of women, such as race or other socioeconomic factors

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83 APPENDIX A SURVE Y Personal/Biographical Information 1 What is your gender? Male Female 2 Years of experience within the construction industry: Years 3 Current position in company: Receptionist Admin / Support Accounting Project Engineer Craft Worker Foreman Superintendent Estimator Project Manager Business Development Operations Manager Executive Owner Other 4 Education level: High School GED AA / AS BA / BS Masters PhD Other 5 How did you initially enter the construction industry? Personal interest in the industry Construction is a family business Answered an ad for a job Other 6 What is your personal status? Single Married Separated / divorced Living with partner Prefer not to answer 7 How many children under the age of 18 live with you? Children 8 What is the age of your youngest child? Years 9 What is the average number of hours you work per week? Hours 10. Do you work primarily in the field or in the office? Field Office 11. What type of career path do you see yourself having in the next 2 years? I expect to work in the same position for the same company I expect to work in a different position for the same company I expect to work in a different position for a different construction company I expect to work for a firm that is not in construction 12. Will you continue to work in the construction industry? No Yes If yes, for how long? Years 13. Have you ever been treated in a manner that made you feel uncomfortable because of your gender? No Yes Please provide a brief description:

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84 14. How of ten are you made to feel uncomfortable because of your gender? Daily Weekly Monthly Times per year Never 15. Have you observed any changes in the way that women are treated in the construction industry in the past 5 to 10 years? There is no difference. Women are treated with more respect and have greater opportunities today. Conditions are worse for women today. 16. I would support a young man I personally know to enter the construction industry. 17. I would support a young w oman I personally know to enter the construction industry. Employer/Industry Information 1 Type of firm you currently work for: General Contractor Construction Management Architectural Engineering Subcontractor Other 2 Type of work your company performs (check all that apply): Civil/Heavy Highway Commercial Design/Build Government Healthcare Industrial Institutional Retail Subcontractor Trade Other 3 What size c ompany do you work for: $ millions of projects completed per year 4 How many employees are in your company? Number of Employees 5 How many women work in your company? Number of Women 6 What is the highest position within your company held by a woman? Receptionist Admin / Support Accounting Project Engineer Craft Worker Foreman Superintendent Estimator Project Manager Business Development Operations Manager Executive Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree

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85 Owner Other 7 In your experience, does your company actively recruit woman? Yes No 8 Is your direct supervisor or manager a male or female? Male Female 9 Does your manager or supervisor have: Same education level as you Greater education level as you Lesser education level as you 10. What professional trade organizations are supported by the company you work for (check all that apply): Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) American Institute of Architects (AIA) Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) American Society of Professional Estimators (ASPE) Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Other Project Management Institute (PMI) Professional Women in Construction (PWC) Opinion 1 I am respected less than if a male was performing my job. 2 I feel pressure to work harder than my male peers. 3 I have limited opportunities within my organization because of my gender. 4 I am included in company functions by my male counterparts, i.e. company golf functions, bbqs, seminars, etc. Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strong Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strong Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strong Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strong

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86 5 I am invited to socialize with my male counterparts during the work week, such as going to lunch or sharing ideas during breaks. 6 My direct supervisor understands and works with me when family/personal responsibilities arise. 7 My pay is less than that of my male counterparts. 8 The work of male employees receives more public recognition than that of the female counterparts. 9 My employer would allow me to further my education or training related to the industry, such as taking evening classes. 10. My company provides reimbursement to me for further training or education related to the industry. Opinion (Optional) What changes would you like to see implemented in the industry that would improve a womans success? A copy of the results of this survey will be provided to any interested participants. Please send a request under a separate email to the following email: jenniferestanley@ufl.edu. Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Strongly AgreeAgree Neutral / No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree

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87 APPENDIX B APPROVAL LETTER FROM UNIVERSITY IRB 02

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89 REFERENCES A merican Council for Construction Education (2009) Accredited Baccalaureate Programs. http://www.acce hq.org/bacalaureateprograms.htm Arditi, David and Gulsah Balci. (2009) Managerial Competencies of Female and Male Construction Managers. Journal of Management in Engineering, 135(11), 12751278 Dabke, S., O. Salem, A. Genaidy, and Nancy Daraisen. (2008) Job Satisfaction of Women in Construction Trades. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 134(3), 205216 Dainty, Andrew R.J. and Helen Lingard. (2006) Indirect Discrimina tion in Construction Organizations and the Impact on Womens Careers. Journal of Management in Engineering, 22(3), 109118 Dainty, A.R.J, B.M. Bagilhole, K.H Ansari, and J. Jackson. (2003) Creating Equality in the Construction Industry: An Age nda for Change for Women and Ethnic Minorities. Journal of Construction Research, 5(1), 7586 Dainty, A.R.J., R.H. Neale and B.M. Bagihole. (2000) Comparison of Mens and Womens Careers in U.K. Construction Industry. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 126(3), 110115 Linguard, Helen and Jasmine Lin. (2003) Career, Family, and Work Environment Determinants of Organizational Commitment Among Women in the Australian C onstruction Industry. Construction Management and Economics, 22(4), 409420 National Association of Women in Construction (2009) www.nawic.org Pringle, Rosemary and Anne Winning. (1998) Building Strategies: Equal Opportunity in the Construction I ndustry. Gender, Work and Organization, 5(4), 220229 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009) Industries at a Glance. Construction: NAICS 23. http://data.bls.gov/cgi bin U.S. Department of Labor (2009) Womens Bureau. http://www.dol.gov/wb/info_about_wb/mission.htm U.S. Department of Labor, Womens Bureau. (2008) Nontraditional Occupations for Women in 2008. www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/nontra2008.htm

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90 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jennifer Elyse Stanley Albertson was born in Ocala, Florida to Martin and Barbara Stanley. After graduating third in her class from Umatilla High School, she attended Eckerd College for one year and then transferred to the University of Florida, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in l iberal a rts and sciences with a concentration in history. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and began working in the construction industry. Following her return to Florida and continued employment in various capacities within the construction industry, Jennifer decided to continue her education, this time with a focus on construction. In May 2008, Jennifer began her graduate studies at the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida. Upon earning her Master of Science in Building Construction degree in August 2010, Jennifer return ed to the indu stry and began work ing as lead estimator for a general constr u ct ion firm.