The construction industry offers a growing number of well-paying jobs for individuals without college or graduate school training. According to an article on high-employment-growth firms by the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, among 20 different industries, construction is the nation’s fifth-largest contributor to job creation, generating more than 300,000 jobs from 2009 through 2012.

Construction jobs often represent a means of entry into the American middle class. Data from BLS show that construction is a comparatively well-paying field. Unfortunately, women have traditionally been excluded from entering these good jobs and continue to be denied their fair share of employment in the industry. Despite a modest increase between 1969 and 1990, BLS data for 2012 show that the percentage of construction jobs filled by women has declined to 2 percent.

Those who oppose taking affirmative steps to end gender discrimination in construction may argue that women’s low participation reflects a lack of ability or willingness to perform “dirty and dangerous” jobs. However, such assertions are not founded on reality. In fact, women’s representation in many “dirty and dangerous” jobs comparable to construction has…Continue for more details