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Women's workwear

March 4, 2022

New uniform options available for Facilities Management employees

FM employee welding copper pipe while wearing a new women's workwear style
Plumber Apprentice Ryan McCarthy says that the new women’s apparel allow for a better fit and greater ease of movement while working.

Facilities Management recently expanded its uniform apparel offerings to include additional workpants that are designed specifically for women.

“We're excited to announce the expansion of women's clothing options here at FM during National Women in Construction Week when we celebrate and honor women's roles in the construction industry,” said Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Don Sundgren. “Supporting women in nontraditional work roles is just one of the ways FM is working to become a more equitable organization.”

In recent years, Facilities Management tradeswomen have expressed concerns about the workpants options available to them. Many women were ordering the men's workpants to get the functionality they needed to perform their job but were struggling with the fit because the pants are designed for the male body.

“If I need to move and stoop and climb and lift, and do all of the things that are part and parcel of the trade, I need to be able to do that in clothing I feel comfortable in,” said Plumber Apprentice Ryan McCarthy. “…If you can't move, it can have a direct impact on your ability to work and work safely.”

In light of these concerns, FM Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist Emily Douglas, Occupational Programs and the FM Uniform Committee pursued a partnership between a group of Facilities Management tradeswomen and a woman-owned company producing utility workpants designed to fit a female body. Eight tradeswomen participated in a trial run “wear test” of the clothing options from January-October 2021.

During the wear test period, employees provided ongoing feedback via a text group that included representation from the clothing company allowing for any issues to be addressed quickly. The group participated in check-in calls throughout the period and then completed a survey sharing their final feedback and recommendations in October 2021.

FM employee with a leg up on a cherry picker truck, wearing a new style of workwear
Electrician Apprentice Brittany Collier likes the utility of the new women’s pants as they have more pockets and loops for tools.

All of the employees found the workpants to meet or exceed the initial needs regarding appropriate fit, durability, pockets, material and safety. The employees indicated that the new workpants were of superior quality compared to the current offerings and would last longer, requiring fewer pairs of pants allotted to each person each year.

The FM Uniform Committee reviewed the recommendation and approved the new offerings, which the FM Materials team made available starting late last month. Available workpants include four new styles that range from a heavier weight canvas tested for durability on jobsites to a lightweight option that provides flexibility for employees who work on both jobsites and attend meetings in an office setting. The company also plans on developing a maternity pant option to meet the needs of FM employees.

The new apparel options are available for all Facilities Management employees who are required to wear uniforms to perform their jobs, including those in trades, project management, custodial, landscape and recycling.

Information about Facilities Management uniforms are available on the FM Style Guide Apparel webpage (FM login required) and all apparel options are listed in the FM Uniform Contract Resource Book (PDF). To order, contact the Logistics Team (434) 982-5866 or

About the author

Jane Centofante
Communications senior generalist
UVA Facilities Management
(434) 982-5846