Gender diversity in US construction industry leaders

Hickey, P. J., & Cui, Q. (2020). Gender diversity in US construction industry leaders. Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(5), 04020069.

“Despite having a US gender population distribution of 50.8% and 21.9% of civil engineering bachelor’s degrees earned in the last 24 years, women are significantly underrepresented in US engineering and construction executive leadership positions. This current state-of-practice study adds to the body of knowledge by addressing the information gap regarding female leadership representation and quantifying executive team gender distribution of the top firms in the field. Anecdotally, this is a male-dominated field, but no empirical study has reported the claim or proved otherwise for industry executives. New aspects of research evaluate the impact of select industry subsets (e.g., revenue size, green companies, and public commitment to diversity and inclusion) on actual diversity composition in the executive suite. Overall, this study reports that women fill 3.9% of executive engineering billets. However, certain industry subsets, highlighted by companies who publicly promote diversity, show promise with higher integration levels. The paper also reports that a majority of these companies lack gender diversity in leadership culture and mission statements. With a looming workforce turnover and continued globalization, industry will benefit from the introduction of fresh ideas and perspectives brought by integration in the executive suite.”