The construction industry is fighting to recruit more women into a sector that faces chronic labor shortages.
Sheet metal worker Carey Mercer assembles ductwork at Contractors Sheet Metal on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in New York. The construction industry is fighting to recruit more women into a sector that faces chronic labor shortages. As spending on infrastructure rises, construction firms will need to hire at least 430,000 new skilled laborers in 2021, according to an analysis of federal data by the Associated Builders and Contractors. Right now, only 4% of construction laborers in the U.S. are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By ALEXANDRA OLSON, AP Business Writer
(AP Photo/Kevin Hagen) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK (AP) — Bethany Mayer didn't want to go back to work after learning that a fellow ironworker insinuated that women like her didn't belong there. Jordyn Bieker, an apprentice sheet metal worker in Denver, said she felt uncomfortable that her foreman asked her pointed questions about being gay. Yunmy Carroll, a veteran steamfitter, said a worker at a training session declared that women in construction are “whores.”
The three women shared their stories over Zoom during a Lean In Circle for Tradeswomen, one of 76 launched nationwide and in Canada this year by the North America's Building Trades Unions and Lean In, the women's advocacy group started by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
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