Past Injustices

Marian Keyes (
Mon, 6 May 1996 18:15:15 -0400

A sadly timely article appeared today in the business section - C 1 - of the
(Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal. Headline: Nontraditional jobs for women
continue to hold barriers. I'll quote a few lines to show that not only is
discrimination alive, there's often nothing subtle about it.

The article cites a study done by the Chicago Women in Trades.

"In 1995, women represented only 2.1 percent of well-paid tradespeople such
as plumbers, carpenters and electricians...A recent CWIT study of six
construction sites in Chicago, Cleveland and Portland, Maine, found women
accounted for 5 percent to 8.9 percent of the work force - but that was due
to affirmative-action programs, which are being abolished or threatened
throughout the United States...Another CWIT survey found 57 percent of women
questioned reported being touched or propositioned on the job, and 60
percent said they were given the heaviest or distiest assignments.
...even with solid financial backing, women in male-dominated industries
face severe discrimination. 'One Midwestern woman we interviewed said all
of the local suppliers colluded against her,' Allen* said. 'She received
death threats and her tires were slashed. She finally had to go overseas to
get her supplies. But she ended up dong the highest-quality work and has
attracted the attention of major Japanese companies."...Employers complain
that there aren't enough trained women, but Marano* noted that employers and
the unions control the apprentice programs and who gets into them."

*USC Associate Professor Kathleen
*Cindy Marano, executive director of Washington-based Wider Opportunities
for Women.

new message to this message