Mission + History


Oregon Tradeswomen helps transform lives by building community and economic independence through empowerment, training, career education, advocacy, and leadership development in the skilled trades. Oregon Tradeswomen’s commitment to help women achieve economic independence is integrated in our values, programs, advocacy, and direct service work.

Our work puts women on a path to economic independence. Our work helps change lives.

Oregon Tradeswomen Founding Sisters Circle:  Connie Ashbrook, Elevator Constructor; Kate Barrett, Carpenter; Melinda Koken, Carpenter; Sandy Hay Magdaleno, Operating Engineer; Ann Zawaski, Carpenter


Oregon Tradeswomen was founded in 1989 by four tradeswomen on the principles that women can attain economic self-sufficiency by pursuing careers in the construction, manufacturing, mechanical, and utility trades while helping the construction trades industry to build a diverse workforce. Founded by tradeswomen for tradeswomen – this is the core of who we are.


Oregon Tradeswomen is committed to building upon our solid foundation, and works to ensure access, opportunity, and equity for women in the skilled construction trades. We do this to meet demand for high-skilled, qualified, and diverse workforce, and to provide opportunities for economic stability through a career in the trades to women and gender non-conforming jobseekers.

Our programs, services, and public policy advocacy address issues of gender disparity, occupational segregation, and wage inequity.

We Value


We hold an unwavering commitment to racial, gender, and economic justice.


We are stronger together and build bridges to create an inclusive movement for lasting change.


We dare to envision a different future for women by building economic independence.


We create shared prosperity, by organizing to dismantle oppressive systems.


We operate with integrity and are committed to the highest standards for our industry and community.