Women are bulldozing their way into construction jobs
Tue Aug 16
These days, it feels like jobs are all over the place — especially when you look at it through the lens of gender. While women suffered the biggest burden on jobs lost due to the pandemic, the “Great Resignation” that followed has resulted in over 47 million workers quitting their jobs. Many won’t return until equitable compensation or improved work-life balance is on the table, and others are choosing not to return at all.
Within the construction industry, this has led to a unique opportunity for women. Baby boomers (those currently aged 55-73) are leading the resignation exodus, turning in their hats for a chance at a better quality of life. This unexpected higher rate of retirement has led to the most job openings in over a decade (roughly 440,000). As a result, more women are starting to take on the traditionally male-held construction roles, pushing the percentage of women in the industry to an all-time high.
Although they have to battle prejudice and stereotypes frequently, women cite higher salaries as a big draw to the work. The median salary for a construction manager is $98,500 compared to the national median of $41,535. Some organizations that offer construction courses are finding their typically male classrooms completely overtaken by women. And while the numbers are encouraging, about 25% of women surveyed said they often face sexual or gender-based harassment and half said they dealt with unequal treatment, frequently hearing men ask if they can instead talk to the “man in charge.”
BELOW THE FOLD BYTES
Take a Load Off (Your Mind)
Ever feel completely fatigued after just a few hours of decision making? While it’s well understood how physical labor exhausts us, a new study has found how extended critical thinking can do the same. When we think hard, our brains produce toxic byproducts (glutamate) that can build up and make it increasingly harder (more exhausting) to think clearly. In other words, thinking hard for a long time is tiring. What’s more is that mental fatigue pushes our brain to make low-effort choices. This means we shouldn’t really make big decisions when we’re tired. And unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet to clear out the glutamate, just good old sleep.
Buy Now... Regret Later?
Consumer advocates are sounding the alarm on “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) options from companies such as Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm. BNPL allows shoppers to split payments for a product, such as a $200 jacket is split into four interest-free, $50 payments. Problem is, the purchases can be tough to track and missing payments can ding credit scores or trigger a list of fees. Worse, BNPL shoppers are less able to weather payment issues as they’re often young and/or have subprime credit (BNPL doesn’t require deep credit checks). And since it further encourages more shopping, it’s all starting to look a little predatory.
🎬 Action of the Week
There’s more to celebrate when it comes to women in the workplace: Scotland just became the first country to provide free and universal access to period products. Want to see the same happen where you live? Free the Tampons allows you to take action and voice your demands for free access in all restrooms outside the home.
THIS WEEK'S SOURCES
- Bloomberg: Women in construction 4 days old | 10 minutes long
- APA: Women out of the workforce 8 months old | 7 minutes long
- U.S. Chamber: National Labor Shortage 1 month old | 7 minutes long
- SHRM: Baby boomers retiring 1.5 months old | 4 minutes long
ASCII-ING ABOUT THE NEWS
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Man is my brain fried.
Art Credit: ASCII Art Archive