Hard to Find Good Help These Days – How About Hiring Women?

Hard to Find Good Help These Days – How About Hiring Women?

Training and keeping a good crew is one of the biggest challenges for a contractor. If you hire new blood right out of training, you’ll have to let them work for a few years before they’re really seasoned and professional.

If your team is made up of veterans who know the job inside and out, you’re in danger of losing them to any one of your competitors. Finding the right new job candidates is always tough, but what if you could increase the applicant pool by almost half? You can do this by taking one small step: hiring women instead of sticking with the traditional all-male crews.

Women in the trades are relatively rare and you may never have considered putting them on the team, but you can reap multiple benefits by adding women to your employee roster.

More Talent

It’s all about the bottom line when you get right down to it. You need to hire the best workers for each job you do. Not every man who applies for a job is going to be the best at his specialty. What if there were a woman who did it better?

Opening up your crews to women simply means you have a larger number of talented, experienced workers from which to choose. No one’s asking for special treatment, but if the best person for the job is a woman, it makes no fiscal sense to hire a man just because he shaves every morning.

Women are taking advantage of government programs designed to teach them trades in industries traditionally closed to them. This gives them an advantage in having more in-depth and current training than the average male nail-banger might have. Take advantage of all that extra knowledge by hiring a competent woman for the job.

Your Reputation

Marketing these days is all about branding. Your reputation is your brand: how you’re known in the business and to the general public. The best way to stand out in the business is by showing excellence in your work, with your customer service and the way you treat your employees.

Become known as the contractor who’s fair enough to put women on his crews and you’ll give a positive impression to potential clients. This can even be a selling point in your marketing plan, positioning you as a modern and forward-thinking business owner.


There’s no way to get around it: we’re a lawsuit-happy country. Discrimination suits can cost you massive amount of time and money even if you win the case. If you’ve got a proven record of having women on your payroll for any length of time, you’re in a better position to deflect accusations of gender discrimination.

In an industry that’s becoming increasingly suspect as one that refuses to hire women just because of their gender, hiring them as regular workers will go a long way toward proving how progressive you are.


When a workforce is diversified, it almost invariably results in better morale and an improved feeling of teamwork for the employees involved. Diverse working groups allow a larger variety of ideas, problem solving techniques and work experience. Seeing woman working alongside them, doing the same job, will convince virtually all the skeptics that more variety is a good thing. Change can be rough for any team that’s been together for a while, but it’s been shown time and again that there’s a positive benefit to adding women to a workforce.

That Bottom Line Again

Some of the biggest contracts your company can get are those with federal and state governments. These entities need a constant supply of contractors for building new government facilities, creating public housing, rehabbing old schools and courthouses and even renovating historic landmarks.

Government contract work is a very lucrative arm of the trades to get into. If you’ve got the right mix of people on your team you’ll have an edge on your competition. Government jobs have to be offered for bids, so giving a good price is your first step. But those awarding the contracts consider more than the cost when choosing a contractor. They give special consideration to contractors with diverse workforces, both racially mixed and those with male and female crew members.

If you’re trying to break into this competitive world, having some women legitimately working on your payroll can make the difference


  • Jason December 24, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    The key here is competent…and held to same standards as anyone else. In my field, that sends the number of qualified females plummeting. All too many times, I have seen women get picked up on a crew but then they would not perform certain tasks because they were too heavy, etc. Also, when a woman was legitimately a poor employee, they used the threat of a lawsuit to secure their job.

    The last thing I am going to do is hire women just because of the fear of a gender discrimination suit, marketing, to appear “progressive”, etc.

    • TaraC January 8, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      I am a female contractor, and I won’t hire a woman. Sorry, call me sexist in that regard, but it will never happen. I agree with what Jason posted….I’m in this position due to my husband and brothers being builders, so I’ve had an advantage of being taught the skillset needed. 99% of girls are never exposed to any kind of building while growing up, so there’s no interest to learn anything as an adult woman.

  • George zarogiannis January 9, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    The majority of our painters and 2 out of the 3 crew leaders are women.
    We always had both men and women working, I don’t see the need to bring special attention to it.
    As far as climbing the 32 foot ladders, using lift equipment, work endurance,
    I never noticed a gender difference.
    This has been the case for over 10 years and we are doing fine.


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