Women in Construction

OPCMIA Takes Leadership Role in Historic Women in the Trades Conference

From October 12 – 15, 2018, thousands of women working in the building and construction trades — including many plasterers and cement masons — will gather in Seattle for the eighth national multi-craft union-sponsored Women Build Nations Conference.

Last year’s conference in Chicago brought together more than 1,900 tradeswomen and their allies for two days of educational workshops, union engagement and leadership development, and the 2018 conference promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The conference offers workshop tracks for women at all stages of their careers, from pre-apprentices to new apprentices to seasoned journeywomen seeking to advance in the industry. Tradeswomen leave the conference empowered with valuable knowledge and resources to build women’s committees or mentorship programs in their unions. They are equipped with the tools to establish multi-craft support groups, and they are motivated to become advocates for policies and practices that support new opportunities and long, fulfilling careers for women in the building trades.

Growing out of the Women Building California Conference, which started in 2002, Women Build Nations is designed to address and overcome the unique challenges women often face in the trades. That’s why workshops and panels will focus on the best practices to increase access for women into the trades, supportive services, outreach and recruitment resources, and Equal Employment Opportunity compliance information and resources. Importantly, the conference renews energy and excitement about the work of tradeswomen and provides a setting to form new relationships and strengthen existing ones.

The OPCMIA, other international unions, and ANEW (Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women) sponsor the conference, which inspires and motivates tradeswomen to become greater advocates for the union construction trades. It also gives them practical resources to mentor and support one another and to become involved in outreach and recruitment, which will help keep women in their unions, crafts and careers for the long run.

The OPCMIA is proud to enthusiastically support not only the Women Build Nations Conference, but also the recruitment, empowerment and retention of our women members. For more information, please visit nabtu.org/wbn or womenbuildnations.org. And if you’re an OPCMIA sister interested in attending, please contact your local union officials.