These two things true:
- The Building Trades Unions are leading the way in bringing gender diversity to the construction workforce.
- Gender and racial diversity in the union building trades will drive greater market share.
The Building Trades Unions are leading the way in bringing gender diversity to the construction workforce.
- In Massachusetts, women’s participation in union apprenticeship is now 10% and has increased every year since 2012 while the non-union sector has stayed at 3%.
- As of March 31, 2021, twelve of the 26 union apprenticeship programs have greater than 10% women members and four additional programs are over the 6.9% state goal for women on public projects. (In contrast, 89% of non-union programs have no women at all and two-thirds of the rest have only one apprentice.
- Unions in Oregon are partnering with the Portland Metro Council to create career pathways to greater gender and racial diversity in the trades and have set a goal of 14% women’s hours on public projects.
- In Seattle Washington, unions, community organizations and the city government have completed a Community Workforce Agreement and published an Apprenticeship Guidebook that make entrance into the union trades a transparent priority for women and people of color.
Gender and racial diversity in the union building trades will drive greater market share.
The world has changed in the past year and the world of construction is no exception. The Building Trades Unions took the lead in shutting down construction sites in the early uncertain days of the COVID pandemic and led the way in making sure sites were safe as they opened up. Following the murder of George Floyd, Building Trades Councils around the country and their national federation stood “firmly behind the African-American community that for too long has had to endure humiliation and dehumanization in the shadows, in silence and with no prospect of meaningful redress.”
As the construction unions become more diverse and as they build more community alliances based on social justice, there will be greater demand to use public construction funds to support good jobs with good benefits– the jobs that sustain healthy families and communities.
Additional resources to diversity the construction workforce and expand unionization in the industry include: