I recently attended the 68th Annual Conference for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in Portland, Oregon. Founded by a group of 16 women working in the construction industry in 1953, NAWIC currently has over 115 chapters throughout the US that provide members with opportunities for professional development, education, networking, leadership training, public service and more.
This year’s theme was “Many Paths, One Mission”, and brought together over 500 women and men from across the construction industry to learn about the latest trends, technology, personal development and networking with other professionals from across the country. Procore exhibited as a sponsor for the conference, where we engaged with attendees and spoke about the various ways to get involved in Procore’s Women in Construction program.
At last year's NAWIC Annual Conference, Procore announced the launch of a new initiative, Lean In Circles for NAWIC—Powered by Procore. The nine-month program was designed to help NAWIC members gain practical skills to navigate bias and advocate for themselves and other women in construction. In collaboration with Lean In, the program features a peer-to-peer mentorship structure and ensures all women—regardless of their job or function—can find career success in the construction industry.
Over 100 members signed up to participate in 17 circles, kicking off the first iteration of the program which concluded in May of this year. We conducted a survey among the program participants to explore the impact of the Lean In Circles on career progression and improving the overall experience of women in the construction industry.
At the conclusion of the program, 73% expressed that they felt they had accomplished their goals in signing up for the Lean In Circles. The majority of participants reported that they were more likely to support other women in construction (89.5%) and take on new challenges or opportunities (63.2%).
These results indicate that the Lean In Circles were successful in supporting personal and professional growth, with 76.3% of participants acknowledging an elevation in their confidence levels and feeling a connection to the other women. “Despite us coming from different areas and companies, we have a lot of the same challenges to face,” one respondent said.
The Lean In Circles emerged as catalysts, providing a safe haven for women to share their experiences, learn from one another and conquer challenges together. According to another respondent, “I have had the most challenging year both personally and professionally. I didn’t know how much these women would help carry me through just by providing a safe space.”
Respondents expressed appreciation for the pilot program of the Lean In Circles, sharing details on how they contributed to increased knowledge and skills, improved confidence and enhanced overall experiences.
“Circle members were able to gain more confidence, advocate more for themselves in their careers and support one another by working through real-time situations,” said Anne Pfleger, CIT, CBT NAWIC Past National President 2020-2021 and Director of Operations Hancock Structural Steel. “One member changed her job from managing the training for a company of 125 to a company of 1,600. Another used an upcoming evaluation to advocate for herself to get a title and compensation similar to others at her company doing the same work.”
NAWIC plans to continue the program with its members for a second iteration of Lean In Circles starting in September. The first year’s curriculum will be uploaded to NAWIC’s website for chapters and regions to utilize.
Procore’s Women in Construction (WIC) program aims to provide space for advocates to engage with one another, to educate the industry as a whole and to empower individuals and companies who want to learn more. We’re committed to helping create a framework for a diverse workforce through resources like our Procore WIC Community Group, which currently has 780+ global members.
Join us for our next WIC Community Live Q&A with Anne Pfleger to delve into the lessons, results and impacts from the first iteration of the program. Sign up and join the conversation.