It is the season of construction in New York City, a city that is already generally well-known for its ongoing, multiplying work zones. Community progress often means a need for new and/or improved buildings and streets. We need men — and women — to put in the construction work that ultimately makes this area great.
But based on research regarding the work environment for women in construction, it is easy to see why the industry has more male workers than female. There should be equal opportunity for women in the field, though. And women in construction have employee rights just as women in white collar industries.
Research indicates the following problems reported by women in construction that, altogether, most definitely result in a hostile work environment.
Respondents reported threats of violence, name-calling and the overall instilling fear in the female workers. One woman says that a co-worker shook the ladder she was working on and laughed about how she was scared. Another said a male worker threatened to throw her into a bin at the job site.
An astounding 88 percent of female subjects from one study reported being the victims of sexual harassment while on-the-job. A study also revealed that 43 percent of the female respondents reported that the sexual harassment came from their supervisors specifically. These statistics paint the picture of a workplace wherein many women feel hopeless in trying to protect themselves and speak up.
This is just the tip of what is the women-in-construction iceberg of safety and legal issues. Our next post continues this important discussion, including tips about how regulators could try to resolve the problems.