“There’s a solution to the equal-pay problem: getting female workers into well-paying jobs in construction and engineering. All it takes is the right kind of training.”
That’s the finding behind a recent study, commissioned by JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the practical goal behind Women Working in NonTraditional Employment Roles (WINTER), an independent nonprofit organization who is working to bridge the wage and employment gap women are dealing with in these fields.
According to the study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women make up a mere 3 percent of workers in well-paid, middle-skill construction jobs, and that fewer than one in ten apprentices in the U.S. were women. This is an example of how occupational segregation by gender contributes to a stubborn wage gap that kept women making 79 cents to every man’s dollar in 2014 and still limits women’s access to well-paid jobs that don’t necessarily require higher education.
A hurdle to overcoming this problem is making skills training available to women in these fields. Something WINTER is tackling head-on with its 10-week training program that offers its female students a range of construction or engineering certifications, as well as practical experience with the tools and processes they would use in their future work.