By Katie Johnston
At the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the gender of the union’s membership is baked right into its name.
And at IBEW Local 103 in Boston, 95 percent of the workers who retire every year are men. But change is underway. For the past two years, nearly 16 percent of first-year apprentices have been women — a record high — many of them women of color.
In Massachusetts, more than 10 percent of participants in building trades union apprenticeship programs are women, almost triple the national average and the highest rate in the nation, according to the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues, a local construction industry collaborative. And more than 20 percent of the students in construction programs at vocational technical schools in Massachusetts are women, according to the group.
Nationwide, the number of women in construction jobs has risen by nearly 50 percent in the past decade, and women now make up a record-high 14 percent of the construction workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics survey. Latinas account for much of that growth, according to a Washington Post analysis that found the number of Latina construction workers increased by 117 percent over the past six years.
Read the full article at The Boston Globe.