Construction firms owned by women on the rise

Women’s shoe stores may have to stock up on work boots if a recent study is any indication of the future.

Between 1997 and 2004, the number of construction firms at least half-owned by women increased 30 percent, changing the face of the construction industry, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research.

While this may seem surprising, the center reports that 48 percent, or 10.6 million, of all privately held U.S. firms are at least half owned by a woman or women. The 30 percent increase in woman-owned construction firms was the largest growth for women in any industry during that seven-year period.

In 2004, there were 652,807 construction firms at least half owned by a woman and 246,712 companies in which women were the majority owners, according to the research center. Women seem to be thriving in majority-owned construction firms, which grew 57 percent from 1997 to 2004.

The increase in female construction firm owners seems to echo the growth of the industry in the United States. In 2004, there were 2,730,396 construction firms, accounting for 12 percent of all U.S. firms. During the seven-year period in which the study took place, the number of construction companies grew by 17.7 percent, and nearly a quarter of them are 50 percent or more owned by a woman.