Research + Tech

Digital transformation may increase opportunities for women in construction

A recent joint survey by the National Association of Women in Construction and Safe Site Check In shows 71% of construction companies view digital transformation—integrating digital technologies to help reshape business processes—as a top priority, with new technologies opening doors for women in the workforce, according to

The survey reveals digital transformation can help enhance productivity, make construction jobs easier and address labor shortages.

“Digital transformation is gaining significant momentum in the construction industry,” says Crissy Ingram, executive director of the National Association of Women in Construction. “Along with making work easier without compromising the quality of the finished product, it also opens up more opportunities for women. The survey shows the importance of digital technology and, ideally, its potential to address some of the issues driven by the construction labor shortage.”

The organizations surveyed participants regarding digital transformation, the industry’s labor shortage and the effects of supply chain disruptions. Participants represented all areas of the construction industry in private and public sectors, including 600 National Association of Women in Construction members throughout the U.S. working in construction at companies with annual revenues ranging from $500,000 to more than $1 billion.

Following are key findings from the survey:

  • Seventy-seven percent of respondents believe digital transformation will make their jobs easier; 17% believe it will have no effect; 5% believe it will make their jobs more difficult; and 1% believe it will eliminate their jobs.
  • Ninety-five percent of respondents report new technologies designed for the construction industry have allowed them to be more productive.
  • Seventy percent of respondents are excited about learning new technology at work; 24% feel indifferent; and 6% expressed frustration.

Additionally, when asked which of the newest construction technologies are most helpful, 72% of respondents said smartphone apps for managing projects and the workforce followed by GPS layout (13%), drones and robots (9%), and augmented reality and wearables (3%).

Creating a security-aware company culture is important

Cybercriminals regularly use social engineering techniques to deceive and manipulate employees, leading to financial losses, disrupted productivity and a tarnished company reputation, according to Harvard Business Review.

Attackers take advantage of people’s willingness to trust certain requests and mindlessly click on links or open virus-laden attachments.

Leaders often rely on IT departments to secure information, but to reduce the human-based liability, all employees must be committed to maintaining a security-aware culture. This involves leaders influencing their team members to adopt certain mindsets and behaviors.

Following are six strategies to help strengthen your company’s defenses against cybercriminals and create a security-aware culture.

  • Ask employees to voluntarily sign a security policy. Demonstrating commitment makes people more likely to follow through and adhere to codes of conduct. Within the policy, it is useful to clearly state which types of information are sensitive and which are not.
  • Lead by example. In situations of uncertainty, people look around them for cues regarding how to think and act. Senior leaders should lead by example and promote best-practice behavior.
  • Elicit reciprocity. Social norms dictate if someone gives us something, we believe we should return the favor. Taking moves to secure an employee’s own data or identity can be meaningful first steps to elicit reciprocity.
  • Leverage scarcity. People find objects and opportunities more attractive if they are rare or difficult to obtain. Senior leaders can use this when promoting the organization’s rare, exemplary security accreditations that could be compromised by a security breach. Leaders also should implement a classification system separating sensitive information from harmless information.
  • Be like those you lead. Security professionals emphasize the importance of an empathetic mindset to achieve compliance. People are most influenced by others with whom they identify and like, and leaders build trust with workers when they act with humility and empathy.
  • Leverage the value of authority. Organizations typically require employees to take annual digital security training. However, it is possible employees will not connect the contents to their daily behavior. When senior leaders personally instruct employees to comply with corporate information security, they will be more likely to get the desired outcome—provided the leader is viewed as a trusted source who understands security issues and stays informed.


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