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New Industry Pledge Aims to Bring More Women into Construction

Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
Photo courtesy of Suffolk
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Commerce)
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo (Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Commerce)
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced the Million Women in Construction Community Pledge to bring more women into the construction workforce.

Several leading construction companies have signed on to the pledge, including Suffolk, Baker Construction, Gilbane Building Company, McKissack & McKissack, Mortenson, Power Design, and Shawmut Design and Construction. In addition, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is making an industry-wide call for more companies, unions, and training organizations to sign the pledge.

By signing the Million Women in Construction Community Pledge, industry leaders are demonstrating an ongoing commitment to increase women’s access to training, jobs, and leadership opportunities. This follows an announcement made earlier this month launching the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework.

Construction companies, unions, and training organizations can join the initiative by pledging to focus on or scale up equitable hiring and workforce development efforts that create broader pipelines and opportunities for women. This industry-wide call to action encourages signers to voluntarily take action by utilizing best practices, including building community partnerships to reach women and girls; investing in solutions that increase supportive services such as child care; and fostering safe, healthy, and respectful workplaces.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is creating a construction boom all over the country, and with that boom comes a huge increase in jobs and opportunities for workers in construction and the trades,” Raimondo said. “But right now, women make up less than 11 percent of jobs in construction and only 4 percent in skilled trades. Many of these are good-paying, quality jobs you can get without a college degree, and women deserve equal opportunity for these jobs.”

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The announcement comes after a roundtable of construction industry leaders, convened by The Real Estate Roundtable and attended by Secretary Raimondo, to discuss the Million Women in Construction Community Pledge.

“The construction industry continues to face significant labor challenges due to the aging workforce and dwindling number of young people entering the construction field,” said John Fish, Chair of The Real Estate Roundtable and Chairman and CEO of Suffolk. “There is a critical need to attract more talent and diversify our workforce to ensure we have the resources to build our cities and grow our economy.”

The Million Women in Construction initiative is a nationwide call to action for construction contractors, trade unions, and training institutions to commit to bold steps that will ensure a robust and diverse workforce in the years ahead. It will be necessary to recruit, train, hire, and retain thousands of new and non-traditional workers — the next generation of skilled laborers and leaders to rebuild U.S. infrastructure and supply chains.

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