Women make up 45% of the nation’s workforce yet hold just 3% of jobs in the skilled trades nationally. This means that the industry is missing out of nearly one half of potential workers, workers who would benefit tremendously from the opportunity to enter and advance in skilled trade occupations. Frequently we hear from employers that they can’t find women to apply, which they interpret as lack of interest in this kind of work. Of course that is true for some, but many women very much want these opportunities or would want them if they knew they were eligible and welcome in the workforce.
It may take a little extra effort, but the initiative of individual employers and apprenticeship programs in actively seeking female candidates is critical to improving women’s participation in nontraditional occupations and we encourage you to partner with us to expand your candidate pool.
"I am proud to work with my hands every day, building and repairing America one project at a time." - Lily Wu, Apprentice, Electrician IBEW Local 134, CWIT 2015 Graduate
Recruit Qualified Tradeswomen
Chicago Women in Trades can help you expand you talent pool and recruit qualified women for your available apprenticeship or job opportunities. The agency serves hundreds of women each you though its:
- Technical Opportunities Program — a 12 week, 170 hour course that prepare women to compete for and succeed in apprenticeship through a curriculum that includes math and test preparation, workplace readiness, basic construction skills, hands-on experience and physical conditioning.
- Women in Welding — a 12 week, approximately 300 hour course, providing qualified graduates with American Welding Society, forklift, and OSHA 10 certifications.
- Employment Services — CWiT maintains a large database of union tradeswomen working in a wide range of trades and can work with you to match your needs to available talent.
Technical Assistance to Achieve Equal Opportunity Employment Goals
CWiT works to increase the capacity of apprenticeship programs, contractors, employers, and other nontraditional training providers to recruit, retain and advance women. We can assist you with:
- Recruitment materials and guidance
- Assistance in assessing your selection criteria and processes in relation to their impact on women’s acceptance rates
- Developing mentorship or support groups for female employers/members
- Sexual harassment prevention and diversity training
- Customized solutions to issues affecting retention of a diverse workforce
Partner with CWiT to Support and Advance Women in Trades
As an apprenticeship program or nontraditional employer, your partnership is critical to ensuring that women have opportunities to enter and succeed in these occupations. In addition to hiring women, you can contribute by:
- Hosting a booth at CWiT’s career fairs
- Serving as a mock interviewer for program participants
- Hosting a field trip at your site to introduce women to occupations in your field
- Advertising your available openings with CWiT
- Ensuring equitable on-the-job training and pairing new female apprentices with a mentor
- Providing consistent employment, as possible, for qualified women to encourage their retention in the industry
- Invest in their development and advancement