by Morgan Mentzer and Deaunte Damper
President Joe Biden’s multiple restructure plans focus significantly on building and creating new infrastructure, training trades workers, and supporting labor unions. However, without a cultural reckoning for the trades that addresses the toxic workplace culture permeating much of the industry and preventing nontraditional workers from entering or remaining in the trades, the restructure plan will further exacerbate the racial and gender disparities. Biden’s ambitious plans lean on the trades to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, the significant unemployment and the subsequent lack of health insurance.
However, the trades are rife with racism, toxic masculinity, and stagnant representation. For the restructure plans to succeed, the trades must address the toxic workplace culture to move the trades toward safety, inclusion, and not just cultural competence but cultural humility. Without safety, inclusion and humility, the restructure plan will further exacerbate the racialized inequality mirrored across America’s history and contemporary policies. ANEW and Reckoning Trade Project have an answer, and the compass to continue to guide. It starts with cultural humility.Continue reading OPINION: LGBTQ Pride Must Extend to the Trades