DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – National Women in Construction week was observed March 8 through March 12. The Associated Builders and Contractors of the Ohio Valley used the week to highlight women working in the construction business locally and encourage other women to consider jobs within the construction industry.
Owners and leaders at Envirocontrol Systems in Dayton, Lisa Crosley and Jessica Arney, are sharing their experiences as women in the industry to encourage other women to consider applying.
“My advice to women is know what you’re good at, do that., and don’t have a chip on your shoulder where you feel you have to prove anything to anyone else,” said Crosley, president and majority owner of Envirocontrol Systems.
Crosley and Arney also have a unique situation. They work together, but are also mother and daughter. Crosley says she and her husband bought the business to build a family legacy in 2004.
“There’s nobody else better to be in business with than your family because they’re always going to be your biggest fans.” said Arney, Owner and Service Manager at Envirocontrol Systems.
They support each other and they also make it a point to support the other women who work with them and are in the industry with them.
“There’s not this sense of, ‘I’ve got to hold other women back so I can excel,” explained Crosley. “There’s this sense that all of us as women are helping each other”
In 2019, women made up only 10 percent of the construction industry. Crosley and Arney say women may be overlooking lucrative job opportunities.
“In our industry, in heating and air conditioning, [there are] other opportunities that are beyond just doing the physical work,” said Arney.”
“Women, don’t think that if you want to enter the trades you’re going to have to be Rosie the Riveter,” said Crosley. “There’s lots of really fine professional opportunities within the trade.”
The ABC of the Ohio Valley says, since the COVID pandemic more than 5 million women have lost or left their job, and no is the perfect time for them to enter an industry where there is a lot of demand for workers.
“When you walk onto a job site and you see diversity it blends better and makes you more confident about who’s working for you,” said Carlos Panzardi, with ABC Ohio Valley. “You’re going to get a better team because it’s more minds coming from different places.”
To encourage more women to apply for construction and trade industry jobs, ABC of the Ohio Valley has an apprenticeship program. Currently they have about 250 participants. The deadline for next year’s group is in September. Click here for more information.