It is Women in Construction Week March 3 – 5 in Los Angeles to recognize and support the expansion of the participation of women in the construction industry in Los Angeles. It has long been recognized that women represent 47% of the overall workforce but only nine percent of construction employment. This week efforts to address this inequality are recognized and celebrated for the organizations seeking to increase the participation of women in construction trades.
Los Angeles has long been a leader in the movement to improve the representation of women in all phases and levels of the construction industry. Starting in 1961 with 12 women, the National Association of Women in Construction has provided active support for the advancement of women in the construction industry in Los Angeles. They have gained the support of corporations, unions and workers.
Women Build Metro LA (WBMLA) was established in support of Metro’s Project Labor Agreement and Construction Careers Policy mandate. Given that women currently make up less than 3% of the construction trade workforce, the voluntary committee members are passionate about increasing female participation. With emphasis on the construction trades, they are proud to recruit, educate and support womens’ introduction into all aspects of the transportation industry. Although Metro does not hire workers for their construction projects, all of their Prime Contractors have this requirement.
Grassroots organizations support and advocate for women in the trades. Tradeswomen, Inc. was founded in 1979, and for over 40 years has worked on outreach, recruitment, training and retention of women in the trades in Southern California.
Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS) supports mentoring, educating, and networking to develop increased presence of women leadership in construction and are offering a presentation on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Winterwomen provides training programs specifically for women to enter the construction industry and helps people prepare for apprenticeship programs with a focused 10 week program of skill development for women and youth from low income backgrounds to enter the construction field.
Training is a vital component of this effort, and the California Apprenticeship Coordinators Association has taken a proactive position in recruiting women for apprenticeship programs around the state. The urgent need for skilled workers in the construction trades creates opportunities for women to enter and advance in the various trades, and the association works to increase the percentage of women in each of its many coordinated apprenticeship programs.
CREED LA would like to applaud these efforts at achieving a more gender equitable society by the corporations, organizations and individuals in Los Angeles.