top of page

Commerce Department Looks to Increase Number of Women in Construction

FatCamera via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Commerce is aiming to increase the number of women in the construction workforce with the support of well-known industry names. Several construction companies signed the Million Women in Construction Community Pledge on Tuesday after a round table discussion led by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

By signing the pledge, these companies commit to boosting equitable hiring practices and investing in supportive services like child care. Raimondo's Million Women in Construction initiative aims to double the number of women in the industry within ten years. As of April 2024, women comprised 14.3% of all construction workers, a slight change from the 12% share in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Tuesday’s announcement follows the launch of the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework earlier this month, which outlines five best practices for increasing female participation. The pledge aligns with the framework's concepts, which include:

  • Setting goals and tracking progress to increase women's participation in CHIPS-funded construction projects.

  • Building partnerships with community organizations that have a record of increasing women's and economically disadvantaged individuals' involvement in the construction industry.

  • Developing training pathways, such as investment in training, apprentice utilization goals, or partnerships with apprentice readiness programs that serve women and economically disadvantaged individuals.

  • Providing access to supportive services like child care or transportation to retain women and economically disadvantaged individuals in the workforce.

  • Ensuring healthy, safe, and respectful workplaces and addressing harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and violence through training, policy, and practice.

The Commerce Department announced that Intel Corporation and Micron Technology have voluntarily committed to these best practices. Raimondo emphasized that federal funding for construction, including through the CHIPS and Science Act, has resulted in a construction boom.

“Many of these are good-paying, quality jobs you can get without a college degree, and women deserve equal opportunity for these jobs,” Raimondo said in a release.

Companies present and signing the pledge include:

  • Baker Construction

  • Gilbane Building Company

  • McKissack & McKissack

  • Mortenson

  • Power Design

  • Shawmut Design and Construction

  • Suffolk

Raimondo urged more companies, unions, and training groups to sign the pledge. John Fish, CEO of Suffolk and chair of Tuesday’s roundtable, underscored the need for new talent on the job site.

“The construction industry continues to face significant labor challenges due to the aging workforce and dwindling number of young people entering the construction field,” Fish said. “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.”

Read full story on Construction Dive

5 views0 comments



Thanks for submitting!


bottom of page