PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Florida has the fifth highest percentage of women in the construction industry in America.
Despite that, women only make up 12% of that workforce.
For Ann McNeil, a successful career in the construction industry didn’t come easily.
"In the very beginning I could not name you one Black female that I knew in the industry. Not one," McNeil said.
McNeil got her start in West Palm Beach in the 80s.
"Attending North Technical Institute, while working a full-time job, while working a master's degree and my friends laughed. That’s how the construction journey started for me," McNeil said.
McNeil is the founder and president of National Association of Black Women in Construction.
"When you think about the future of this construction industry, women now are coming into the industry by droves," McNeil said.
According to a report by Construction Coverage, nationwide 1.1 million women are working in construction compared to 9.9 million men. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are more likely to work in office or administrative positions.
"Just taking one look at you and not having enough confidence in you," said Margaret Anglin, the co-owner of Mr. Wireman Electric.
Anglin is working to deconstruct the divide.
"Within the NABWIC organization I was able to make contacts. We have a billion dollar luncheon every month and through that what was brought to the table was owners and engineers," Anglin said.
Landing Anglin her biggest contract yet, working on the Broward Convention Center.
"It’s me, myself, and I, but when you have somebody saying no, it’s me, but I’ve got some sisters. It’s a great difference," Anglin said.