Support Groundbreaking Reporting on Women
Logo Logo

Three Decades of Missing Data on Women in Construction Changes With New Rule

For the first time in nearly three decades, the government is poised to require companies to disclose every month how many women and people of color they employ on federally-funded construction projects. 

The new rules, proposed in late February by the Biden administration, follows a story by The Fuller Project in December that revealed women have been systematically left out of the booming alternative energy sector – including construction jobs in solar and wind. Our investigation found women comprise only 31% of the clean energy workforce –  virtually unchanged since Barack Obama promised 5 million green jobs in 2008. 

The Biden administration has made historic investments in green energy, including $370 billion in clean tech subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act and billions more in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  But without a mandate to track the participation of women and other historically under-represented groups in construction, civil rights advocates say the country risks leaving the majority of Americans behind. 

“We cannot count on any private company, which is focused on the bottom line to, on its own, implement these national priorities, like hiring more women,” said Madeline Janis, executive director of labor organization Jobs to Move America. “If there is not good reporting and follow up, there’s nothing.”

In an emailed statement, Michele Hodge, acting director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, said the proposed rules were meant “to ensure that federal contractors are hiring workers that look like America.” Communities that had “been left behind in the past are a key part of this Administration’s vision for an economy that works for everyone,” she said.

Get our groundbreaking reporting on women

Get The Fuller Project in your inbox weekly
Get The Fuller Project in your inbox weekly