BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — More and more women are opting for hard hat careers, according to the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC).
Currently, women make up 9.1 percent of the industry. By 2020, that number is expected to rise to 25 percent.
According to the NAWIC, the industry is more actively recruiting women and increasing trade school opportunities.
Patyn Butler, a senior at Baldwin County High School, is one of those students. She’s dually enrolled in the Building and Construction program and North Baldwin Center for Technology. Butler is one of the only young women in her class, but she doesn’t notice.
“I can do whatever the guys do, it don’t bother me, I’m just one of them,” she said. Butler has plans to take over her father’s roofing business after she graduates from college.
Meanwhile, Kim Chastang, the business development manager at Jackson Concrete Pumping out of Loxley, shares a similar sentiment. She says the industry never intimidated her, and that it was actually quite the opposite.
“It’s a very welcoming and warm industry to be a part of,” she said. “When I walk on a job site I’m there for a busiess purpose and they get that vibe from me. I think it’s all about your presentation and who you are.”
Chastang recomments joing the Alabama Associated General Contractors network. She says her involvement in the group both helped her feel immediately comfortable in the industry, and helped her connect with clients and customers.
And counselors at the North Baldwin Center for Technology encourage young women interested in a construction career to reach out to them.