Based on the largest national survey of tradeswomen ever conducted, with over 2,600 responses, IWPR's new report shows that more than four in ten women working in the construction trades have seriously considered leaving their jobs. Discrimination and harassment are among the main reasons that women depart the industry.
Lost Jobs, Stalled Progress: The Impact of the “She-Cession” on Equal Pay
In year one of COVID-19, the gender wage gap narrowed slightly only for full-time, year-round workers, with women in low-paying jobs bearing the brunt of the crisis. For all workers, the gender gap widened slightly.
In 2020, women earned less than men in almost all occupations, whether they worked in predominantly male, predominantly female, or more integrated occupations.
In the lowest paid of the largest 20 occupations for women, Maids and Housekeepers ($503 per week), women are nine-in-ten workers (and face a wage gap of 10.6 percent); in the highest paid of the largest 20 occupations for men, Chief Executives ($2,402 per week), women are fewer than one-in-three workers (and face a wage gap of 24.4 percent).
Postsecondary attainment is widely recognized as key to accessing living-wage careers—in addition to fulfilling workforce demands and elevating the United States’ standing on the world stage. While much of the work to increase attainment rates has recognized the role of reengaging adults who have some college credit, but no degree or certificate, less attention has been paid to the salience of parenthood in adults’ postsecondary experiences.
The skilled construction trades provide opportunities to build careers that are both challenging and fulfilling, pay a family sustaining wage with benefits, and can be accessed through ‘learn as you earn’ apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are particularly common in the unionized sector of the construction industry, where contractors and unions jointly run and fund apprenticeship programs.
In 2019, the median earnings of Asian American and Pacific Islander women for a year of full-time work were just 84.6 percent of White non-Hispanic men’s, and just 73.3 percent of the median annual earnings of Asian American and Pacific Islander men.2 While Asian American and Pacific Islander women had the highest median annual earnings for full-time year-round women of the largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States, $55,0003 compared to $47,299 for all women workers,4 this hides large differences in the labor market experiences for different groups of women.
As lowest paid women lost most jobs, the gender wage gap for full-time workers shrank for all women and men, and by race & ethnicity. The gender wage gap in weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States narrowed between 2019 and 2020, from 19.5 percent in 2019 (a gender earnings ratio of 81.5%) to 18.7 percent in 2020 (a gender earnings ratio of 82.3%)
A new National Survey by IWPR finds in first 100 days and beyond, affordable, high-quality healthcare, getting the economic recession under control, and job creation are top priorities for women for the new Administration and Congress. Women have been most affected by the COVID-incited economic downturn