North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) recently held the first of two virtual events to substitute for the 2021 Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference that was canceled due to the COVID pandemic.
Held the morning of March 5, the TWBN Winter Webinar and a similar event planned for later this year are designed to help empower female building trades members. The theme of the first webinar was “Women Empowerment in Union Construction.”
When previous events were held in-person, the Tradeswomen Building Nations Conference has drawn crowds that make it the largest gathering of union building trades members in the world.
The webinar began with opening remarks by NABTU President Sean McGarvey. He told viewers that tradeswomen are a top priority.
“Your voices matter,” he said.
McGarvey then stressed how NABTU values diversity and equity as they continue to fulfill their expressed commitment of prioritizing inclusion, justice and belonging on all fronts.
He also recognized two international unions for offering their members paid maternity leave – the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation workers.
Besides McGarvey, other speakers included Canadian Building Trades Union Executive Director Sean Strickland and Sheryl Sandberg, founder of LeanIn.org.
Once the opening speeches were finished, participants then joined one of three breakout panels. The topics included Retention and Recruitment: Strategies for Tradeswomen to advance in the Trades; Times They Are A-Changin’: Legislative and Federal Updates and the Benefits for Tradeswomen; and A Culture of Care Series: Lean in Circles for Tradeswomen – Mentoring and Connecting Over Shared Experiences.