Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.


The best of solutions journalism in the sustainability space, published monthly.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

No Donald Trump, You Did Not Break the Glass Ceiling For Women in Construction

By 3p Contributor

By Megan Wild

Donald Trump is perhaps best known for a series of failed business ventures, a short-lived stint on reality television, awful hair and, of course, his bid for the U.S. presidency. In a story we all know well, the real estate mogul offended yet another group of individuals during a recent interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News.

According to Mr. Trump himself, he "was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women" in construction. His pointed and ill-informed statement went on to place himself ahead of everybody else when it comes to equal pay and employing women in the construction industry.

To say that Mr. Trump's proclamation is laughable is certainly an understatement.

You see, Donald Trump definitely did not break the glass ceiling for women in construction. In fact, he didn't have much to do with it at all. Mr. Trump has a record of hiring women in executive positions, including his first wife, but a recent report claims that his presidential campaign provides higher pay for men than women.

With a track record like that, it's hard to see how he could truly care about the state of women in society today, let alone those in construction-related positions.  

An equal opportunity industry

Despite some preconceived notions, the construction industry provides plenty of opportunities for both men and women. Studies show that women account for less than 10 percent of the construction workforce within the United States, but that number has improved when compared to some past figures.

For some women, however, a full-time career in the construction industry simply isn't worth it. Apart from the constant threats of sexual harassment, misogynistic remarks and unfair treatment, women in construction still suffer from unequal pay.

Female construction workers in the U.S. receive 93.4 percent of what their male counterparts receive, on average. This is significantly better than the average pay rate discrepancy in general, but there is room for improvement.

A number of barriers prevent more women from entering the construction sector, but certain advantages attract both men and women to the industry.

With a wide availability of work both domestically and around the globe, many construction workers can choose whether to travel or stay at home. Highly competitive salaries, bonuses and benefits may also be available, depending on the company and your exact position.

For example, employers such as MacAllister provide a number of benefits to their workers, including medical, dental and vision plans, 401(k) plans, student tuition reimbursement, profit sharing, and more.

Notable women in the construction industry

Donald Trump hasn't impacted the status of women in the construction industry today, but many individuals have. You might be surprised to discover that a good number of these individuals were women.

Anna Stern serves as vice president of Tri-North Builders in Wisconsin. A privately-held company founded in 1981, it's safe to say that the Tri-North team knows the construction industry inside and out. Some of its most recent projects include the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin; Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska; Discovery World Museum in Milwaukee; and Comerica Bank in Forth Worth, Texas.

The construction industry suffers from a lack of female workers in general, and the role of the modern-day contractor is certainly dominated by men. However, one woman, Beverley Kruskol, has been laughing in the face of that trend for years. The owner of California-based M.Y. Pacific Building, Inc., Beverley Kruskol's business of commercial construction and general contracting services is highly successful throughout the region.

Another female pioneer in the construction industry is Lynn Gastineau, founder and owner of Gastineau Log Homes in New Bloomfield, Missouri. Though the family business originally started as a sawmill in the 1950s, Lynn took over in 1977 and immediately transformed the company into a builder of custom-built log homes. The Gastineau family hasn't looked back.

Keep a close eye on that glass ceiling

Once you consider the facts, it's easy to see that Donald Trump had little to no effect on the construction industry, its glass ceiling or any of the women in construction-oriented jobs. Despite the fact that he has no rightful claim to such a proclamation, his deceit should be taken seriously, if for other reason than to track the false information he continues to spread.

Image credit: Pexels

Megan Wild is an advocate of women in construction roles. She is a home improvement specialist and writes on her blog, Your Wild Home. She tweets ideas and inspiration @Megan_Wild.

TriplePundit has published articles from over 1000 contributors. If you'd like to be a guest author, please get in touch!

Read more stories by 3p Contributor