As the years pass, more women look to work in previously male-dominated industries. Construction is one of those industries. While it may be true that women can do the job just as well as men, it does not mean their coworkers appreciate it. Many women are continuously subjected to sexual harassment, and some of the perpetrators may go too far.
Sex discrimination and harassment may be illegal, but that does not stop it from threatening the safety and health of women working in the construction industry. Women working in this industry represent the second-highest number of women lodging complaints about sexual harassment with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The complaints range from unsavory sexual comments to sexual assault on job sites.
Of course, not every man working in construction here in Kentucky or elsewhere treats the women they work with this way. At least some may secretly want to come forward on their behalf, but they, too, may fear reprisals from others. As long as the industry resists change, women will continue to suffer at the hands of sexual predators on the job.
Sexual harassment is a problem for everyone in the construction industry. It gives a bad name to the men who respect women and want to see them succeed in this traditionally male industry. Perhaps if more of them came forward along with the women, it would start a chain reaction that could lead to real change. In any case, women who are assaulted by their construction site coworkers do not have to suffer in silence. They deserve the opportunity to report what happened to them and pursue compensation for the trauma and its aftermath.