Carla Gallardo never thought she’d love a job in construction. She wanted to be an architect until her engineer father swayed her to civil engineering. Besides, no one in her family ever worked in construction, so Carla was coming into the industry blind.

Sort of. In 2008, a construction internship caught her eye while still in school at the University of Texas at El Paso. The internship, working with project engineers for over a thousand military housing units at Fort Bliss, began her career with Balfour Beatty Construction and later McCarthy Building Companies, where she works now.

Carla is one of many young female professionals entering the heavily male-dominated construction industry, which is one of the least gender-diverse industries. Women comprise 47 percent of the country’s workforce, but only nine percent of the construction industry.

Only three percent of women are employed in hands-on production roles, as opposed to administration, human resources, and marketing that make up the bulk of jobs in construction. (more…)