Women Who Work

Massachusetts projects open paths for women in construction

Development East News Professional Practice
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission promotes diversity and inclusion on job sites by requiring casino developers to hire at least 6.9 percent female laborers. Shown here: Encore Boston Harbor (Courtesy Wynn Resorts)

One way the casino industry in Massachusetts mandates diversity within its construction projects is by only giving gambling licenses to companies that use 6.9 percent female labor. According to a CNBC report, the opportunity to work on these multi-million dollar buildings as tradespeople is a lucrative way for women to get into construction.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission requires that all casino developers set diversity contracting goals and build strategic plans to work with minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned business. Throughout the design procurement and licensing processes, companies must keep and provide detailed records showing statistics on how they’re integrating these different groups into the business of building and operating the casinos.

Two upcoming Massachusetts casinos, Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, have exceeded the commission’s hiring goals and are on track for setting precedents as models of diverse hiring strategies for construction projects in the United States. Encore Boston Harbor, a Wynn Resorts development coming in June 2019 to the city of Everett, currently employs 328 women. That’s 7 percent of the total labor on site—a goal they hit in July. MGM Springfield, opening later this month, hired 7.5 percent skilled female labor laborers and boasted an all-female demolition crew during its initial construction phases.

Women currently make up 3 percent of skilled tradespeople in the U.S. construction industry. These projects reveal that the male-dominated field can employ more women and well exceed the national average of female workers when governing bodies set strict standards for diversity and fairness. CNBC noted that Building Pathways, a nonprofit program that helps low-income people in Massachusetts access building trade apprenticeships and jobs in construction, hopes to make the construction industry workforce 20 percent female by 2020.

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