Supervisor Hahn Calls for More to be done to Hire Women at Metro

Los Angeles, CA—At today’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors Construction Committee, Supervisor Janice Hahn raised the issue of a disproportionally low number of women employed on Metro construction projects. Despite a stated Metro goal of having women make up 6.9% of the workforce for Metro projects, women make up just about 2% of the workforce for current projects.

Supervisor Hahn expressed her disappointment that the already low bar has not been reached and called for more to be done. She asked Metro to focus on contractors and look at ways to encourage them to outreach to and hire more women.

“It is not enough for us to have a ‘goal’ of hiring more women if all it ever remains is a ‘goal’,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn after the meeting. “Contractors are the ones directly hiring workers for construction projects and it is time that we bring those contractors on board with the mission to hire more women. I think we need to look at instating incentives for contractors and putting together programs to help employers recognize and deal with the biases and barriers that persist in the construction industry.”

Supervisor Hahn and her colleague, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, asked Metro staff to provide answers to the following questions:

1. What is the legality of providing incentives to contractors to increase the percentage of women hired for Metro projects?
2. Can women employment targets be applied to professional, operational, and maintenance fields?
3. What changes can be made to the procurement process to help reinforce the goal of hiring women?

Metro staff will provide answers to these questions at the October meeting of the Construction Committee of which Supervisor Hahn is a member.

Supervisor Hahn will host a Women Build LA Job Fair in early November.