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  • Duane C. Barney

Women in Residential Construction – the overlooked asset


It is a mans world out there, we have all watched construction, concrete, steel beams, drywall; hot sweaty hard work. To be frank not a career choice for most women. In college I looked at construction the same way, work, hard work and that was what work was. Work was not thinking, planning organizing, and it was certainly not “building”. My BS degree in construction, GO GATORS, changed my view drastically, Construction is a business, a big business and I have been a part of it ever sense mostly sitting behind a stack of papers and a computer. You see none of that “work” we have been watching would be accomplished without project managers.

Construction is a business

I have sought out women as project managers as they have a unique place in residential construction. Project management is about information management. The PM is the conduit through which all information, including financial, must flow. The other key factor is that 90% of the clients are women, yes, the couple hires us, but the women run the project, men just show up and nod, unless the discussion is about the pool or the new grill. Therefore, women project managers are a key asset as they have a unique understanding to the client’s perspective. I am good and what I do, but I just need a paint color, so I can finish the living room. I get that it needs to coordinate with the sofa and drapes, I will feign understanding, but I honestly, I just want a paint color. Women “get it” in a way I do not and serving the client is a huge part of building a home. Since this is a team effort, you need the right players on the field.

Women are great planners and organizers

Nothing on the job site would be accomplished without subcontracts, material selections, orders place and delivered on time, and most importantly money collected, and bills paid; all the role of the PM. Women are great planners and organizers, not being sexist, but I have seen women manage three kids, lunch school the gym and the household budget with the greatest of ease. Trust me managing construction is like having a house full of kids, unless it is managed well, it will be chaos.



Just from observation, most interior designers are women, not because they a forced but because they enjoy it. Color, fabrics, space planning, the right spot for the flowers, men appreciate these things but that is pretty much where it ends. Equally so, women can excel in construction especially residential; planning and organizing whether it is several projects or the entire business, the dirty heavy stuff, you can always hire men to do that for you.