November 4, 2022

Contact: Carolina Espinoza | | 202.683.6828


Washington, DC – The Institute for Women’s Policy Research celebrates the Biden Administration’s announcement of a new Million Women in Construction initiative. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo  issued a commitment to double the number of women working in the construction industry over the next decade. This effort aims to ensure that contractors and companies that access taxpayer money are employing an inclusive workforce.

Of Secretary Raimondo’s announcement, IWPR Senior Research Fellow Ariane Hegewisch said, “The unprecedented federal investment in the nation’s hard infrastructure represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to provide more equitable access to construction careers. Now is a great time to focus on construction diversity. IWPR research shows that more women than ever work in the trades and, though women are still fewer than one in 20 construction tradesworkers nationally, we know what works to improve their recruitment and advancement.”

“IWPR research – based on the largest national survey of women working in the trades ever conducted in the United States – highlights both the challenges and opportunities for growing women’s numbers in these good union jobs that are often accessible through apprenticeships.” Hegewisch continued. “Too many women in the industry face discrimination in hiring and employment and experience sexual and racial harassment. Too many women simply never learn that the industry could be for them. Yet, women’s growing numbers and diversity in the trades are also proof positive that change is possible when contractors, unions, and policymakers make a commitment to see change happen.”

“This announcement is a testament to the organizing, activism, and advocacy by tradeswomen and partners across the country.  IWPR looks forward to partnering with the Biden Administration and tradeswomen to ensure that we meet this challenge.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research strives to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. As a leading national think tank, IWPR builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter.