Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

David Gladstone


The purpose of this mixed methods qualitative case study is to gain a deeper understanding about the factors that contribute to and/or hinder women’s participation in the construction industry by examining women’s experiences within one very industry-specific, male-dominated nontraditional occupation (NTO)—the concrete industry. In this study I utilized a combination of methods including interviews and survey research, as well as case analysis of an organization specifically involved with this population, the Women In Concrete Alliance (WICA). This investigation identifiesd some of the reasons why women’s participation remains low, discusses some of ways that the private, public, and educational sectors have set out to address those shortages, how women working in the field felt feel about those initiatives based upon their experiences, and what systems of support these women draw upon to remain active in a male-dominated profession. As women’s associations within NTOs are one relatively formal potential means of support for women facing occupational isolation, this study also examines different types of organizations to which women working in NTOs belong (e.g. membership, educational, advocacy, trades). I want to know in what ways the organizations benefit members; how the organizations support themselves or are supported financially.


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