Celebrating Women’s History Month

Recognizing Trailblazers in Local 11, the IBEW, the Building Trades and Beyond

March is Women’s History Month. Local 11, the IBEW and the Building Trades have all made strides towards inclusion, though certainly there’s more work to be done.

“Women workers continue to make IBEW history today, not just on the job but in communities throughout North America,” said former IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson in 2021. Citing the wage gap between men and women, Stephenson heralded organized labor’s effort. “The proof is undeniable that collective bargaining and unions do more to close the wage gap than almost any other factor.”

At the end of last year, nearly 4,000 women participated in the 13th annual Tradeswomen Build Nations conference. Among the attendees were 400 IBEW members.

“These events are important because it gives all sisters in the trades a sense of belonging and a reminder that they are supported,” said Jennifer Gray, director of the IBEW Civic and Community Engagement Department, in a story on the IBEW website. “There is tremendous value in our sisters and siblings telling their story, and hearing others’ stories, that a job in the trades can truly change the trajectory of someone’s life.”

The North America’s Building Trades Unions recently celebrated “Women in Construction Week” highlighting women in the trades; and the AFL-CIO is also getting in on the celebration with a series of profiles.

And by the way: Liz Shuler (President of the AFL-CIO), Lorena Gonzalez (California Labor Federation Executive Secretary –Treasurer) and Ivonne Wheeler (Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President) show just how far women have come in labor.

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