In 2015, the photo of a woman wearing a protective helmet and holding a homemade placard went viral.
The sign reads: “I need feminism because ‘who hired a stripper’ shouldn’t be the first thing said when I’m at a welding job.”
Did you know that women make up less than 3% of the workers in construction trades? The ratio has not changed in the last 30 years, even though women make up 40-50% of the workforce in all other industries.
What’s more, each year 38x more men finish their apprenticeships than women, and the dropout rate for women in apprenticeship programs is 300x that of men – why?
- Almost nine in ten female construction workers experienced sexual harassment on the job, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report, compared to around one in three for all women.
- Gender stereotypes start early in life, and young women are less likely to get into shop classes or even hear about construction apprenticeship opportunities as they enter high school.
- Less than 1% of all harassment incidents are reported on the construction site, according to a report by the National Women’s Law Center – with the most cited reason for a lack of reporting being the fear of retaliation.
So what’s wrong with this picture? The fact that it is true!