This past October, a few of Oregon Tradeswomen’s finest flew to The Windy City of Chicago to attend Women Build Nations, a conference for tradeswomen to address industry issues and to learn from each other. More than 1,500 women from all over the US and the world to talk about their trade, to network and connect with other tradeswomen.
Women of all ages, skill levels, and trades had the opportunity to check out a wide variety of workshops such as:
- Anti-Oppression 101: Building Solidarity by Breaking Down Bigotry
- Tradeswomen’s History: Learning From the Past to Change the Future
- Rising to a Leadership Role in the Union: Examples and Advice
- Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Letting Go of Feeling Like a ‘Fraud’
Oregon Tradeswomen pre-apprenticeship graduate and Journeyman Laborer, Vanessa Enos, and Isis Harris, IBEW, both received “Emerging Tradeswomen Leaders” scholarships to attend the conference and also had the honor of speaking on a tradeswomen panel, “Perspectives from the Field.” Lori Baumann, Journeyman Laborer, Liuna Field Representative, and Oregon Tradeswomen Board Member came to represent Laborers Local 737.
Other friends of Oregon Tradeswomen, Donna Hammond and Bridget Quinn from IBEW Local 48, spoke on a panel focused on recruitment and outreach of women and people of color.
This conference spoke to the needs of women in the trades and truly fostered a space where tradeswomen could be themselves and feel a camaraderie with other women who are having many of the same experiences in their careers. When only 3% of all trades positions nationwide are filled by women, the existence of an event, for tradeswomen, by tradeswomen is of utmost importance.
Thank you Chicago Women in Trades for organizing Women Build Nations 2017, and we can’t wait to see you all next year in Seattle!