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Pride in Construction: New Bill Aims to Improve Conditions Across Sex and Gender Spectrum

A bill currently being debated by the New York City Council hopes to put a spotlight on the struggles – and potential solutions – for women, LGBTQ+, intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming workers in nontraditional careers, including those in construction.

Int. No. 179-A would require an office to be designated by the city no later than July 1, 2023 that will develop and submit an online report on the subject.

It would review the demographics of such individuals in the industry over the past 10 years, in both entry-level and management positions, as well as the issues facing such individuals in construction in regards to recruitment, work environment, treatment, and so on.

It would also develop recommendations to better support these populations, in consultation with multiple entities, including the Commission on Gender Equity, the City Commission on Human Rights, and the Department of Small Business Services.

Construction has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Women currently only represent 7% of the New York City construction industry, and while there were significant gains in numbers from 2009-2019, the Covid-19 pandemic that impacted women employees across industries also reportedly set back those in construction.

Not to mention, those who are employed aren’t necessarily are happily employed. Based on the 2021 Survey of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), 26.5% of all respondents reported that they “always or frequently” experience sex- and gender-based harassment.

Among those, 19% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported they have been harassed over their sexual orientation, and 54.3% have left or seriously considered leaving this industry due to this.

The New York construction industry is projected to receive much investment over the next few years, and with the high salary and benefits and low bar for entry, the industry can provide great opportunities for New Yorkers across the gender spectrum. But this may only happen if the industry first reckons with the ways it has inadvertently excluded others in the past.

As a minority-owned business where women are equally represented, Outsource Consultants, Inc., champions an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome. By celebrating diversity, we hope to pave the way to bridge the current gaps in the New York code and construction industry.

For more on how Outsource supports employees, please visit our Culture page for job listings and more.



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