On June 9th, Tradeswomen Building Bridges kicked off our London delegation with a Best Practices workshop hosted by the University of Westminster. We presented four case studies of successful regional strategies in Canada and the United States where the percent of women in the trades is now equal to or greater than 10%. The four programs shared 5 critical strategies which we have named the “game changers”. This event was intended to share strategies and success with UK construction industry stakeholders and give them an opportunity for discussion and reflection on what might be useful for improving gender diversity in their area of work. The event was livestreamed on facebook live and is available here.
First, we heard from Karen Dove, Executive Director of ANEW in Seattle Washington and Denise Nicole Franklin, the Director of Justice, Equity and Inclusion from ANEW. They shared how policy and collaboration is changing the face of construction in Seattle Washington.
Next, we heard from Maggie Budden, a Red Seal Iron Worker and a project coordinator for Canadas Office to Advance Women apprentices. She shared a Canadian model for inclusion and retention of women in the construction trades.
Mary Vogel (Executive Director) and Amy Courtney (Pipeline Navigator) from Building Pathways in Boston shared about their work creating visibility of tradeswomen as a way to encourage more women to enroll in training programs. They identified three main pipelines for bringing women in and retaining them once they get there.
The last case study was about how government and women’s organizations can advance successful construction careers for diverse workers. We heard a presentation from Tiffany Thompson, the director of Workforce Equity and Technical Assistance for Oregon Tradeswomen in Portland Oregan and Rahi Reddy, the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the Metro Regional Government in Portland about how they created a successful partnership that created opportunities for women to enter the trades in their area. We also heard from Nikea Hunter, the Culture Change Liaison from Oregon Tradeswomen, she shared her experience as a carpenter and how she is working to change the culture today.
There were responses to each presentation by members of the UK construction industry and we ended the day with a large group dialogue to focus on what is useful and what can be brought back to the various places of work that were represented in the audience.
We are extremely grateful to our European and American partners who came together to make this day of learning a success. The resources from the presentation can be found here Special thanks to our research director Dr. Susan Moir for her decades of work culminating in these best practices for use around the world.