Women belong on the jobsite, according to the annual Women Building the Nation Conference and the Iron Workers.
The Iron Workers and their labor-management arm, the Ironworkers Management Progressive Action Trust (IMPACT), have sponsored 26 scholarships for female ironworkers to attend the fifth annual Women Building the Nation Conference in Los Angeles on May 1-3, 2015.
Scholarship recipients were nominated by their coworkers, supervisors, training center leaders, employers and Iron Workers leadership for their dedication to the trades, involvement with the Iron Workers and overall excellence as an ironworker. Each scholarship covered the cost of registration, transportation and hotel accommodations for the duration of the conference.
“We are a social movement, not just a hiring hall and not just an employment agency,” said Iron Workers General President Walter Wise in his speech at the 2014 Women Building the Nation Conference. “And that’s what we’ve got to stand up for, and that’s why we fight, to protect the livelihoods of you and your families. Seeing the dedication our sisters have to their craft and the inclusive and supportive nature of this event have renewed my belief that every female ironworker should attend this event at least once during her career.”
The conference is designed to bring more women into the trades and to offer tradeswomen (both new and experienced) opportunities for networking, skill building, leadership development and organizing. In addition to networking with other tradeswomen from around the country, conference goers will build new skills, engage in leadership development and learn more about organizing through more than 40 different workshops and plenary sessions. Workshop tracks include: Pre-apprentices; Staying In and Staying Strong; Promoting Leadership; Policy & Politics; Career Ladders; and Nourishing Extras. The agenda is planned by North America’s Building Trades Unions’ (BCTD) Committee for Women in the Trades, Tradeswomen, Inc., and local tradeswomen.
The Iron Workers were represented by more than 100 female members in attendance. The Iron Workers also boasts more than 1,500 female ironworkers, 450 of whom are current apprentices working to become experienced journeymen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nine percent of people working in the construction industry in 2014 were women.
“We are proud of the female ironworkers who represent us every day on the jobsite as Iron Workers members,” added President Wise.