Owners have the power to ensure that laws and community standards are followed on their construction job sites. Workforce diversity is a priority when it is as valuable as constructibility, safety and budget.
PUBLIC SECTOR OWNERS IN MASSACHUSETTS: 6.9% women’s participation in the construction workforce is the law.
Our “one pager,”Workforce Diversity in Public Construction: An Initiative of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues,”Workforce Diversity in Public Construction: An Initiative of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues explains the law and makes the case for women’s place in the construction workplace in Massachusetts.
The Attorney General’s Office has issues FAQs that describe the requirements and provide citations to the relevant bid laws.
“All contracts by a state agency or state-assisted contracts for design, construction, reconstruction, installation, demolition, maintenance or repair must contain workforce participation goals for minorities and women. The goals are 6.9% of workforce hours for women and 15.3% for minorities.”
The Department of Labor Standards has also amended their webpages on Prevailing Wage notices and Prevailing Wage statutes to include the following language:
“Awarding authorities are reminded that state contracts and state-aided contracts must also include the processes and procedures to ensure compliance with statutory Workforce Participation Goals, including reporting and enforcement provisions, for women and minorities. G.L. c. 149, § 44A(2)(G).”
The Nov 2020 Bulletin of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) included notice of the requirements that all awarding authorities include workforce participation goals in bid documents. The 2021 manual DESIGNING AND CONSTRUCTING PUBLIC FACILITIES includes this information.
Most awarding authorities have remained ignorant of gender diversity requirements and thousands- or more- of women have been excluded from opportunities for good jobs in the construction trades since passage of the 1998 law that required the Commonwealth to “develop and implement …a comprehensive plan to eliminate discrimination against and to increase the number of female construction workers at state construction projects.”
We have provided Technical Assistance to industry stakeholders for over a decade, most recently through the Office of the Inspector General. Email us if you would like to discuss customized TA for an awarding authority or contractors.
The Mass Gaming Commission documented its success and how they did it in their report BUILT TO LAST: Best Practices for Diversity in the Construction Industry.
When hiring tradeswomen is a priority, a diverse workforce will follow. Proof is here: WOMEN FIRST! Gender Diversity in the Construction Workforce Increases Racial Diversity
Your project leadership insists that “the women are just not available.” They are wrong. PGTI’s Disparity Studies prove that women there are enough women available and willing to enter the trades and exceed the federal and state requirement of 7% hours by tradeswomen in any region of Massachusetts.
And the best way to access those women and get them on your site is to partner with your local trades and union contractors with a Project Labor Agreement.
As you prepare to follow the law and do the right thing, have your senior staff review the following resources. You can also contact us are firstname.lastname@example.org for Technical Assistance. We customize workshops and trainings to your needs.
- Effective Best Practices have been collected and are periodically updated in our easy to use manual, Finishing the Job Best Practices v.9 2021.
- Continuous data monitoring will ensure success. See AOCs: Best practices for monitoring project workforce diversity for proven monitoring practices.