OTI Hosts Global Women Leaders Discussion
On February 10, 2016 OTI was honored to host a group of 20 women from 20 different countries. These women were visitors to the U.S. through the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
According to the Department of State, the goals for this group are to:
- Examine the U.S. political system and women’s participation at the local, state, and national levels;
- Explore programs and initiatives that encourage young women to become involved in politics, run for office, and run effective campaigns;
- Introduce the role of women’s organizations in shaping political dialogue and convey an understanding of effective interaction and support among women across various sectors;
- Gain insight to legislation and programs that promote equal pay and fair treatment for women in the workplace and promote the value of women’s contributions in the home and as primary caregivers for the young and the elderly; and
- Introduce initiatives and legislation that address women’s needs in the areas of health and education.
OTI staff Leigh McIlvaine and Tiffany Thompson really enjoyed presenting to this incredible group of women. During their hour with the group they explained construction apprenticeship, OTI’s Programs, and the larger advocacy work of both OTI and the National Taskforce on Tradeswomen’s Issues. They also covered some brief information about International Tradeswomen work including a 2015 Calendar featuring tradeswomen from across the world (our own AJ Banuelos was featured as May!), Susan Moir’s Fulbright Scholarship researching women in the trades in India, and women in the Trades and Civil Engineering in Japan.
The second half of the visit was spent in open discussion about OTI’s work and women working in the trades in other nations. These women leaders were incredible and insightful; discussion topics included from maternity leave, union political power, cultural perceptions of women working as manual laborers, and fighting myths about the value of blue collar work. Many of the women shared that this was the first time they had a chance to talk about women working in the construction industry and they were excited to think about career opportunities for women in a different way. OTI is certainly looking forward to questions from them in the future about advocating for tradeswomen in their countries!
If you are interested, you can see the full list of visitors below:
Participant List Women in Pol & Social Sectors (MRP).
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