Subscribe Now!
West Fraser

Offsite Construction Works for Women

Some factory workforces are 30% female

Construction executives everywhere are desperately scrambling to find workforces to do the work they’ve promised their customers. Their most experienced workers are retiring at a breakneck pace. And young men, their traditional target market for replacing these retirees, don’t seem to be interested in going into the trades as a career.

Meanwhile, women make up over half of the general population but only 14% of the construction workforce.

Women are obviously fully capable of doing construction work. However, much of traditional construction is extremely physically demanding, dirty, uncomfortable, dangerous work, done in remote, unpredictable locations, often far from the workers’ homes. It can be a tough sell, even for the strongest of men. With less brute strength and often greater child-rearing responsibilities, it’s no wonder that women don’t jump at the opportunity to do these jobs.

RELATED: Number of Women in Construction is Growing

However, in my consulting work in the offsite and prefab construction sector, I’ve noticed a significantly higher rate of women working in offsite factories and prefab shops than on jobsites. Some factories’ workforces are more than 30% female, and they don’t seem to have much problem finding workers.

There are several likely reasons for this difference. In general, compared to on-site construction work, the work in offsite construction factories is:

  1. Less strenuous: The cranes, lifts, and other mechanical assist equipment facilitated by the factory environment eliminate physical strength and endurance as a condition for employment.
  2. Less reliant on construction experience: Due to the standardized work processes in offsite factories, years of construction industry experience are often unnecessary.
  3. Safer: Ergonomic work fixtures, jigs, catwalks, and mezzanines make working in a factory much safer and less strenuous than a jobsite.
  4. More predictable: Being able to go to a single nearby location for work every day is much more family-friendly for primary caretakers of children.
  5. More stable: Most modular factories provide full benefits to their workforce, providing additional security for the employees and their families.
  6. More comfortable: The conditioned environment of a factory is a much more pleasant place to work than a jobsite.

Related: Women in Green Construction

Of course, these advantages don’t only appeal to women. Who wouldn’t prefer a work environment like this over that of a traditional field construction job? Offsite construction unlocks entire non-traditional portions of the population for work in construction, including older workers, workers from other industries, inexperienced workers, and, of course, women.

So if you’re labor-constrained, think outside the jobsite and look to offsite construction and prefabrication to open up your options.



Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Why You Should Have Radiant Heat in Your Home

For homeowners seeking a truly luxurious and efficient heating experience, radiant heat stands out as the superior choice.

Colorado’s Construction Industry Faces Expanded Risk from Controversial Consumer Protection Bill

Colorado's construction sector grapples with heightened risk due to a contentious consumer protection legislation.

Latest Articles