Success in increasing women’s access to good jobs in the union construction trades requires you to take action for the integrated supply and demand strategy. Each of the components below is essential to both supply– recruiting and training women in the skills of their trades– and demand–getting and keeping women working in the field.
Develop and communicate the business case.
- LABOR SHORTAGE- The construction industry is facing an aging workforce and a labor shortage. Women want and need these opportunities when they know that are available.
- THE LAW- Laws and policies vary widely but equity requirements exist – and are ignored – everywhere. End the practice of ignoring legally mandated diversity requirements.
- THE SOCIAL GOOD- Equality of opportunity is good for women, society and business and successful models for change exist.
Collaborate across stakeholder groups.
- Regional multi-stakeholder groups, including unions, contractors and developers, government and community representatives, meeting regularly, can lead in the development and assessment of strategies for increasing women’s access to training and jobs.
- Collaborative workforce monitoring committees, established by public and private builders and unions, can learn and promote best practices for increasing women’s participation in training and employment.
Make tradeswomen visible.
- Use images of real working tradeswomen in printed and digital material, social media and all marketing.
- Include working tradeswomen in all public and private events where construction workers are represented.
- Use tagline “Actively seeking women” in all recruitment materials for training and employment.
Count and report. Set high targets.
- Document the baselines. How many women apprentices are there NOW? How many women are working on your site NOW? How many women are working in your firm, state or province NOW?
- Make data transparent and publicly accessible.
- Track and publicize data trends over time.
- Set high organizational and regional goals. 20% by 2020.
Lead from where you are.
- You are an employer. Hire women. Ensure a safe workplace. Track your diversity progress and history.
- You are a training program. Recruit and retain women. Train your staff in diversity goals.
- You are a government entity responsible for diversity. Enforce compliance with mandated goals and targets.
- ALL STAKEHOLDERS HAVE A ROLE. STAY IN YOUR LANE AND DO YOUR PART.