The Subtle Differences Between Men and Women Contractors
When it comes to meeting the growing demand of the construction industry, it’s sometimes difficult to find a “good man”. So why not hire a “good woman”?
Usually, when a contractor comes onto the scene, most people expect to see a man. The general opinion is that men know more than women when it comes to building and remodeling. Still dominated by men, women make up only 9% of today’s construction industry — which OSHA says equals 800,000 women. However, that number is growing!
As the number of women working in construction continues to increase, general assumptions about women in construction will decrease. The one fact that won’t go away is that women approach building and remodeling much differently than men.
Time and time again, science has proven that men and women work very differently — basically because their thought processes are not the same. It doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. In fact, they complement each other.
Here’s what we know:
- While men tend to rely on the facts and use logic to make decisions, women tend to use both logic and facts.
- Women trust their intuition more than men and are more willing to act on their intuitive feelings.
- Women are more detail oriented. Science has proven that women’s prefrontal cortex is much larger than men’s providing them with more processing power when it comes to details.
- Women often tend to do more research than men before starting a project. They like to seek advice and input from others, while men tend to make decisions quickly and in a singular fashion. Men have been known to say: “If you want to get the project done, talk to a man.”
- Men and women problem solve differently. Women default to brainstorming and like to talk things through. Brainstorming gives them different options and viewpoints and allows them to see the big picture.
- Most men like to jump right into solution mode. They are more analytical, focus on statistics, and are more goal-oriented.
- Women customers, who tend to drive home improvement decisions, are more comfortable knowing another woman is involved in the project.
- Female workers also add a sense of safety for some clients, especially single female clients.
- Women tend to design kitchens a little differently than many men — often because they have more experience using the room.
As a general contractor and project manager for Choice Home Improvement, I have come to realize that men and women also market and network differently. Women are better at reading people’s emotions and body language, which often affect how we work together. We use conversation as a way to build relationships and spark ideas. It also affects how we get our foot in the door.
As a mother and grandmother, I understand what a home needs to be useful — and what a family needs to create a sanctuary they can enjoy. A personal touch can go a long way.
Men and women bring different strengths to the job site
To sum up, men and women have different strengths, the combination of which delivers far better teams and results. Whether male or female, a good contractor should possess excellent listening skills, flexibility and the ability to create a true collaboration with clients and trade partners. Solid project management skills and a strong network of trusted vendors and trade specialists are essential to success in bringing our clients’ visions to reality.