Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Jin Ouk Choi

Second Committee Member

Pramen Shrestha

Third Committee Member

Erica Marti

Fourth Committee Member

Mohamed Kaseko

Fifth Committee Member

Hyun Kyung Chatfield

Number of Pages



The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has failed to solve persistent labor shortage problems or to fill the labor demand in the workforce by recruiting from untapped/underrepresented groups such as Women and Underrepresented Minorities (WUMs). There have been several studies on diversity and inclusion in the AEC industry, but the issue still persists, as the AEC industry has failed to solve these issues. If the industry better understands the status of wage gaps by gender and race, as well as how the industry has performed in terms of providing comparable wages for the workforce over time, along with the geographical distribution and spatiality of the wage gaps, the industry can focus on the target wage gap issues and improve its chances of attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Therefore, in this study, using American Community Survey (ACS) data source, the researcher first investigated WUM’s participation, and workforce diversity by gender and race. Secondly, the researcher studied the gender and race wage gaps and differences using Welch’s t test in the AEC occupations temporally, with and without controlling for the education level of the workforce. Finally, the researcher analyzed the spatial variation of the gender wage gap across the United States using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) approach to provide an additional dimension to the study of wage disparity, not only because analyzing wage gaps based solely on the national average may mask regional differences, but also because wage gaps have major roles in area-based public policies that are targeted to eliminate wage disparities. The results indicate that women have been more underrepresented in construction than engineering professions, whereas minorities have been more underrepresented in engineering jobs. Additionally, the gender wage gap in construction occupations is considerably lower than Architecture and Engineering (A&E), contrary to race wage gaps, where the opposite is true. Furthermore, there are significant racial/ethnic wage differences (minorities relative to whites) in construction jobs, and the race wage gaps had an increase among college-educated minorities. In the A&E industry, the African American to White wage gap has increased for the majority of the African Americans who had lower than “above bachelor” degrees. Surprisingly, the gender wage gap increased in 2015 compared to 2011 with higher education levels in A&E professions, contrary to construction, in which the gender wage gap is the least for the most educated women in all sample years. This study will contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the area of workforce diversity and inclusion by identifying the temporal changes in wage gaps in the AEC industry by education, and analyzing the spatiality of the gender wage gaps. The research also contributes to the AEC industry by identifying the target workforce by education, gender, and race, which requires the industry’s attention. The industry’s understanding of the wage disparities can help practitioners to realize and address wage gaps, which will help them to improve in attracting and retaining WUMs to the workforce.


Construction and Engineering Industry; Gender Studies; Spatial Analysis; Underrepresented Minority; Wage Gap; Workforce Education


Civil Engineering | Human Geography | International and Area Studies | Public Policy

File Format


File Size

2700 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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