There are over 808,891 construction workers currently employed in the United States. From that, 87.8% of all construction workers are men. Nationally, only 3.4% of construction trade workers are female, as of 2018, according to U.S. Labor Department statistics. One of the challenges is that this has always been a white male dominated field where you were typically brought into the union by your uncle, brother, or father.
There are some programs in place but not many, to bring more women into this field. A new program — the first in Philadelphia since the 1980s — is aiming to make a difference, particularly for women. On July 13, 2021, eight women began the WINC Tradeswomen Readiness Program, a six-week pre-apprentice class.
Apprenticeship programs like this for women and minorities will start to bring a more balanced and diverse workforce to a very unbalanced field. DOL should enforce dedicated apprenticeships for women and minorities.