Project title: Role of union women’s committees in improving psychosocial outcomes among tradeswomen
Completed in: 2022 | Faculty advisor: Marissa Baker
Objective: This study investigates the role that union women’s committees have in reducing gendered psychosocial exposures and mental health outcomes among tradeswomen in the sheet metal industry.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey measured stress, anxiety, depression, social support, job satisfaction, and concern of injury among tradeswomen (n=56). Regression models were developed for these outcomes, in which women’s committee involvement (measured via one question that asked respondents about the extent of their involvement in women’s committees) was assessed as an effect modifier. Predictors including bullying, discrimination and harassment, and work-life balance were included in these models.
Results: Women’s committee involvement was significantly associated with social support, which was high among respondents. Women’s committee involvement had a significant positive interaction effect with bullying on job satisfaction and a significant negative interaction effect with work-life balance on overall social support. Women’s committee involvement had a positive interaction effect with work-life balance on both depression and overall social support.
Conclusions: Tradeswomen are exposed to gendered psychosocial hazards such as bullying and discrimination. Union women’s committee involvement has a positive impact on social support and can mitigate the effects of bullying on job satisfaction. However, it remains unclear whether women’s committees can reduce the impacts of other gendered exposures, and whether they have any impact on mental health outcomes. Reducing barriers to employment of women in the construction industry through women’s committees can help meet worker demand and promote equity.