Ever since women have been able to vote, there have been more rights for women everywhere in America. Somehow in construction working, women get lower paid than men. Should they be paid the same as men? The working area is the same, so why is it that women have lower payments because of their gender? This should be a new rule, for women have the same exact rights as men. Everyone is working the same, so why not? Finally, this can reduce women strikes.
Working class women internalize their own oppression. These women learn the stereotypes that define their lives at an early age. Working class women strive to maintain the traditional feminine ideal while simultaneously struggling with the limitations of class. To a significant extent, the problems of working class women persist because they have not participated in the financial gains of the women's movement. Middle class women reaped the greatest benefits. They dramatically increased their presence in professional fields such as medicine, law, and banking: "in little more than a decade women increased their representation among the most prestigious and lucrative professions by 300 to 400 percent" (Ehrenreich, 1990, p. 217). Granted, middle class women still encounter the "glass ceiling" in their efforts to make it to the highest ranks of corporate life. Nevertheless, the women's movement secured a definite change in fortune for women from backgrounds with high social status. These women can now afford to be independent of men. Their financial future is no longer based on marrying into wealth. If a professional woman marries, and later divorces, the specter of impoverished single motherhood is rarely a threat. In contrast, working class women are still largely dependent on the incomes of their husbands. The occupational gains of the women's movement have not been as evident in the blue-collar fields. Part of the reason is some blue collar occupations are in The construction industry, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the second-largest employer in America, with roughly 10 million employees (Hartman, 2004). However, women make up only 10 percent of this workforce. This is slowly changing as women are in increasingly high demand. According to Michael Barkett, state director of training for the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, women in construction are now employed as job foremen, job superintendents and architects” and the door to women’s involvement in construction is “wide open” for those women wishing to pursue this job market (Hartman, 2004, p. S25). A variety of “government, union and business entities” are endeavoring to inform both women and minority workers of the job opportunities available in the skilled trades (Smith, 2000, p. 3). Through their cooperation, it is the hope of these entities that the urgent need for worker will bring more women and minorities into these professions. For example, the Great Lakes Construction Alliance is a non-profit organization whose goal is to improve practices within the construction industry and devise methods for attracting women and members of minorities to the industry through research with local unions, such as “bricklayers, carpenters, iron workers, plumbers and roofers” (Smith, 2000, p. 3). Donald O’Connell, managing director of the alliance, indicates that his organization is interested in bringing diversity to the skilled trades because the larger, more diverse pool of workers aids all stakeholders in the industry (Riegel, 2006). In many areas, agency law dictates that women must be a part of the construction workforce. For example, in the city of Detroit, Executive Order 22 stipulates that all construction projects that receive public funding must have a workforce that consists of “50 percent Detroit residents, 25 percent minorities and 5 percent women based on total work hours” (Smith, 2000, p. "The construction of female sexuality and it is position in heterosexuality drawing upon recent...
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