Joe Biden

Readout of White House Roundtable on Best Practices to Increase Women in Construction

June 18, 2024

Today, Director of the Gender Policy Council Jennifer Klein, Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden, and Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian, alongside Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels, Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda, and Department of Commerce CHIPS Program Office Director Michael Schmidt, met with semiconductor manufacturers, construction contractors, labor unions, tradeswomen groups, and advocates to discuss best practices that will expand the construction workforce by creating pathways for women and other underrepresented groups, as part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda.

Women currently represent less than 11 percent of workers in the construction industry, and less than 5 percent of workers in skilled construction trades occupations. Growing the share of women and other underrepresented groups in construction is critical to delivering President Biden's Investing in America agenda, which is creating millions of good-paying jobs and union jobs in infrastructure, semiconductors, and clean energy.

Participants in the roundtable discussed the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to increasing inclusion of women and underrepresented communities in the construction industry; heard from union leaders and tradeswomen about successful strategies to recruit, train, and retain women; and highlighted the following new announcements:

  1. GlobalFoundries and Polar Semiconductor joined Intel and Micron in voluntarily committing to the Department of Commerce's CHIPS Women in Construction Framework. Under the Framework, companies will work with contractors, trade unions, and other community and workforce partners to implement best practices that will expand the construction workforce by increasing the participation of women and economically disadvantaged individuals. So far, companies have convened and engaged stakeholders on this topic in sites with ongoing or planned semiconductor projects, including Boise, ID, Syracuse, NY, Columbus, OH, and Albany, NY, as well as plans to do so in Bloomington, MN. These recruitment and retention best practices will help support on-time and successful completion of CHIPS program-funded projects.
  1. Bechtel and Turner Construction joined Mortenson and other construction companies in signing onto the Department of Commerce's Million Women in Construction Community Pledge. The Pledge is a call to action to encourage companies to build on their workforce development and recruitment efforts to broaden opportunities for women. By signing onto the Pledge, industry leaders are signaling an ongoing commitment to increase women's access to training, jobs and leadership opportunities. Bechtel and Turner Construction join Mortensen, Baker Construction, Gilbane Building Company, McKissack & McKissack, Power Design, Shawmut Design and Construction, and Suffolk Construction who signed on last month.
  1. The EEOC released a new resource, Promising Practices for Preventing Harassment in the Construction Industry, detailing promising practices for preventing and remedying harassment in the construction industry, including committed and engaged leadership; consistent and demonstrated accountability; strong and comprehensive harassment policies; trusted and accessible complaint procedures; and regular, interactive training tailored to the construction workplace.
  1. The Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, and Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Department of Labor, will publish a new resource about best practices for both project success and increasing inclusion of women in construction trades.

These announcements build on the Biden-Harris Administration's ongoing efforts to reduce barriers and increase access for women and underrepresented communities in the construction trades, including: the Department of Commerce's novel requirement that certain CHIPS and Science Act funding recipients ensure access to affordable, reliable, high-quality child care for their workers with young children; the Department of Labor's toolkit on Building an Equitable Infrastructure Workforce: Gender Equity Strategies as a Model, including strategies, resources, and examples for building a diverse workforce, conducting targeted recruitment and addressing barriers to entry, and retaining a diverse workforce; and the Department of Transportation's report on Investing in America: Best Practices to Expand Access to Jobs and Economic Opportunity Through Transportation Infrastructure Investments, detailing barriers for underrepresented populations, including women, to access construction jobs and recommendations for enhancing diversity in the construction workforce.

Participants included representatives from companies that have signed onto the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework (Intel Corporation, Micron Technology, GlobalFoundries, and Polar Semiconductor); companies that have signed onto the Million Women in Construction Community Pledge (Mortenson, Bechtel, Turner Construction); as well as labor union and advocate partners from North America's Building Trades Unions, TradesFutures, International Union of Painters and Allied Trade, United Association, and Equal Rights Advocates.

Joseph R. Biden, Readout of White House Roundtable on Best Practices to Increase Women in Construction Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives