The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and CHIPS and Science Act authorized the investment of billions of dollars into strengthening the American economy. In the next decade, these investments are projected to create several million new jobs. Careers in construction and manufacturing can provide high earnings and good benefits and often do not require a college degree.
However, women – and particularly women of color – are much less likely to benefit from these new investments. Women are fewer than one in twenty of the workers who will build electric vehicle charging stations, repair roads and bridges, lay the cable for broadband access, or build new chip factories. They are just slightly over one in ten of all construction workers, and just three in ten of all manufacturing workers. As these federal investments flow out, it’s critical that policymakers prioritize policies and oversight activities that promote women’s ability to get– and succeed in – good jobs in construction and manufacturing.