In 1992, approximately 2000 women were employed as brick, block, or stone masons in the United States, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1986, there were fewer than 500 female masons. Although the increase in female participation is substantial, women constitute only 1.1% of a total of 180,000 working masons. In many parts of the country, masonry contractors working on federal government projects struggle to find enough female masons to meet affirmative action requirements. While contractors and vocational instructors give female masons high marks for craftsmanship, hard work, and dedication, girls and women still are not encouraged to pursue masonry careers.