That percentage has scarcely budged since the 1970s. Since then, women have made gains in many other fields.
Why the low numbers? Reasons include a lack of recruitment efforts aimed at women, and stereotypes that construction work doesn’t suit them.
Another factor, according to a recent report by the National Women’s Law Center, is pervasive sexual harassment of women at work sites.
Efforts to accomplish those goals are more advanced in New York than in many parts of the country, with pledges by unions, employers and city officials to boost women’s share of construction jobs. One key player is Nontraditional Employment for Women, a nonprofit that offers training programs such as the one taken by Moreno.
The organization has arrangements with several unions to take women directly into their multiyear apprenticeships — at a starting wage of around $17, plus benefits — once they complete the program. After four or five years, they can attain journeyman status, with hourly pay of $40 or more.
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