More than 2,100 tradeswomen from around the country joined together at the 2019 Women Build Nations conference in Minneapolis this fall (pictures on opposite page). The annual conferencecreates opportunities for the growing number of women in the trades to network with industry leaders; to find mentors, partners and potential employers; and to identify leadership opportunities in the union building trades.

Dozens of Boston tradeswomen traveled to Minneapolis as ambassadors of one of the first cities in the nation to lead the movement for more inclusive and equitable building trades. Every year our building trades unions make historic strides towards recruiting more women into the highly-skilled and well-paid construction workforce. Through a number of innovative partner programs and strategic recruitment campaigns, Boston has led the effort to create a more even playing field for women and people of color nationwide.

Thanks to amazing partnerships with programs like Building Pathways, the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI), the Northeast Center for Tradeswomen’s Equity (NCTE), Build A Life That Works Massachusetts, and Massachusetts Girls in Trades (MAGIT), the number of female union apprentices across the state has nearly tripled since 2012. Currently, 92% of all women in building trades apprenticeships are union, and we are actively striving for a 20% women workforce by 2020.

The conference fused practical skill-building sessions, workshops, forums on union capacity building, and discussions on equity for women in the trades. This ninth annual conference was an especially productive time for Tradeswomen BuildNations. As the trades continue to grow and adapt, we must continue to remain motivated and responsive to change. We remain steadfastly dedicated to expanding opportunities for tradeswomen as well as developing and advocating for effective solutions to the challenges facing women in our industry.

MetroBTC is proud to have been a part of this year’s Women Build Nations conference. This event reaffirms what we know well here in Boston: the future is bright for women who want to join and lead in the union building trades.

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