How Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Trades Can Establish Family-Friendly Policies

At a Glance

The construction industry’s lack of pregnancy and family medical leave policies can limit women’s ability to complete apprenticeships successfully and safely, often forcing tradeswomen to choose between their work and their families. This brief provides information and best practices on how construction employers can offer these crucial benefits.

Published mar. 27, 2023


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Construction trade apprenticeships offer a pathway for parents to earn a family-sustaining wage, yet women remain underrepresented in these roles. The industry’s lack of pregnancy and family medical leave policies can limit women’s ability to complete construction trade apprenticeships successfully and safely and are often a factor in tradeswomen leaving the industry. In a 2021 survey of tradeswomen by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 63% of parents with children under age 18 who said they had seriously considered leaving the trades mentioned a lack of pregnancy accommodations as a very or somewhat important factor. Equally telling, 56% of tradeswomen who are younger than 35 and do not have children cited a lack of pregnancy accommodations among their reasons for considering leaving the industry.

This brief reviews the benefits and best practices of creating family-friendly policies for construction apprenticeship programs.

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