Celebrating International Women’s Day: The Path to Diversity and Inclusion in Construction Trades

Posted on March 8, 2024 12:59 am

As we mark another International Women's Day, it's a time of reflection and celebration of the strides we've made towards diversity and inclusion in our workplaces, communities, and especially within the construction trades. At IBEW Local 993, we are not just participants in this journey towards a more inclusive industry; we are leaders, committed to paving the way for a more diverse future.

The construction industry has traditionally been male-dominated, presenting challenges to diversity and inclusion. However, the narrative is changing, and it's changing fast, thanks in part to the concerted efforts of organizations like IBEW Local 993. We recognize the invaluable contributions women and individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to our trade. Their perspectives, skills, and resilience are essential to the growth and innovation of our industry.

Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter

Diversity and inclusion in the construction trades are not just about fairness or meeting quotas. It's about enriching our workforce with a variety of perspectives that drive creativity, problem-solving, and innovation. A diverse workforce is a stronger, more competitive workforce that reflects the communities we serve. It enhances our ability to address challenges, anticipate needs, and create solutions that benefit everyone.

IBEW 993's Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion

At IBEW Local 993, we have taken deliberate steps to ensure our organization leads by example in promoting diversity and inclusion. Our efforts are multifaceted, focusing on recruitment, training, support, and retention of underrepresented groups in the trades, particularly women.

  • Recruitment and Training: We actively reach out to women and other underrepresented groups, offering information, training programs, and apprenticeships designed to provide the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the construction trades. Our goal is to not only increase the diversity of our workforce but to ensure all members feel welcomed, valued, and respected from day one.
  • Mentorship and Support: Recognizing the unique challenges faced by women and minorities in the trades, IBEW Local 993 has implemented mentorship programs that pair experienced tradespeople with newcomers. This support network is crucial for navigating the workplace, building confidence, and fostering a sense of belonging.
  • Creating an Inclusive Culture: Beyond recruitment and training, we are committed to cultivating an inclusive culture within our local and the broader construction community. This includes ongoing education on bias, harassment, and creating supportive work environments where everyone can succeed.
  • Advocacy and Leadership: Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our local. We are advocates for systemic change within the industry, working with employers, government agencies, and educational institutions to remove barriers and promote policies that support diversity and inclusion.

The Road Ahead

As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us remember that the journey towards true diversity and inclusion is ongoing. It requires constant effort, reflection, and commitment from all of us. At IBEW Local 993, we are proud of the progress we've made, but we are not complacent. We will continue to lead, innovate, and advocate for a construction industry where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

To the women in our trades and those considering a career with us: know that your talent, strength, and vision are the keys to our industry's future. Together, we will build a more inclusive world, not just on International Women's Day, but every day.

In solidarity,
Jim Bicknell Business Manager, IBEW Local 993