The North America’s Building Trades Unions Tradeswomen Build Nations virtual conference ended on Oct. 17, energizing union tradeswomen by the progress women have made in the building trades throughout the years.
The notion that the construction industry is a place specifically for men is an outdated concept, that never really was true. The women of IBEW Local 520 make our local union stronger and all around better.
One of the speakers at the Tradeswomen Build Nations conference was IBEW member and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler. Shuler spoke about the power women have in the construction industry and the need to continue recruitment efforts focused on women.
This could prove valuable for building trades unions in Austin, as the work outlook is strong.
It is no secret that the construction industry in central Texas is booming. Work in the region is plentiful and IBEW Local 520 will be involved in a great deal of it. Increasingly, women are being found on more and more job sites.
That trend is true across most of the U.S. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2019, there has been a steady increase in women working in the construction industry in the last seven years.
Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that women made up 9.9 percent of the construction industry in 2018. This equated to 1,106,919 women working in the construction industry.
Equal Pay is a guarantee
The union construction industry is a great place for women to find fair and equal wages when compared to male counterparts with the same level of experience. A wage gap is frequently discussed when talking about the earnings of men and women in most occupations.
Thanks to collective bargaining, every tradesman and tradeswoman earns the same wage based on the amount of experience they possess. In the organized labor industry, there is no wage gap.
Another reason more women are considering the building trades is the quality benefits. While some international unions are ahead of others when it comes to paid maternity leave and other women-specific benefits, all building trades offer family health insurance for their members.
With the coronavirus pandemic leaving millions of Americans out of work, now is the perfect time for women to consider starting a career as a union electrician. With young people being pushed toward colleges and universities, IBEW Local 520 offers a great alternative that allows women to make a quality career change without taking on thousands of dollars in student debt.