Women in Construction Workshop: Outreach to Female Students from Developing Countries


Women comprise only 9% of the entire U.S. construction industry workforce and even a lower percentage in many developing countries in Asia (7.5%) and South America (0.5%). Educational institutions can help resolve this problem by providing proper training to underrepresented minority (URM) students and encourage them to pursue a successful career. Since many students from developing countries who study abroad often choose not to return home upon graduation, those who do not leave their home countries in the first place become the real assets for the growth and development of their homelands. The first women in construction workshop (WCW) was organized and hosted in Orlando, Florida in partnership with two universities from China and Brazil to target this latter population. Through a rigorous application process, a number of female students were selected to attend the event which included discussion sessions and seminars led by several female construction faculty, career development experts, and industry practitioners. This paper presents the program details, outcomes, assessment results, and success stories to demonstrate the impact of training female graduate students as future role models on recruiting and retaining younger generations of women and minorities in developing countries.


Technology and Construction Management

Document Type

Conference Proceeding



Publication Date


Journal Title

Construction Research Congress 2016: Old and New Construction Technologies Converge in Historic San Juan - Proceedings of the 2016 Construction Research Congress, CRC 2016