Infrastructure legislation could open doors to women in building trades

Tradeswomen groups are also calling for updates to and greater enforcement of existing rules, such as a decades-old order that federal contractors strive to ensure that 6.9% of work hours on projects be completed by women.

“The percentages of people of color and women are going up and there’s a greater attention to equity, but we definitely need the federal government’s attention to bring that all to scale,” said Connie Ashbrook, co-chair of the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen’s Issues, a coalition of groups and individuals that advocate for females in the trades.

Ashbrook and others also point to pockets of success in diversifying the trades. In Oregon, 8% of apprentices are

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