Boston gears up for historic summit for women in construction

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BOSTON – The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center will witness a historic moment on Saturday, October 28, as over 1,000 union tradeswomen come together for the largest gathering of its kind in the city. This significant event, shedding light on the increasing diversity in the construction industry, not only marks Boston’s prominent standing but also celebrates the ever-growing role of women in the field.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that women now constitute 14.3% of the construction workforce, an all-time high that has been steadily increasing since 2016. This hike coincides with a noteworthy 71% approval rate for unions, the highest in six decades, the Greater Boston Building Trades Unions said in a release announcing the summit.

“We are not only building our skyline; we are also building our labor movement,” said Jenaya Nelson, a 26-year member of Laborers Local 223. “What started as a small group of us has grown into a sisterhood of solidarity for thousands of Boston tradeswomen.”

The forthcoming event, while serving as a networking opportunity, will also offer workshops and breakout sessions on mentorship, leadership skills, financial management, and mental well-being. According to the Greater Boston Building Trades Union – which is putting on the event – Boston leads the nation with the number of women in trade apprenticeships, at more than three times the national average.

Dignitaries attending Saturday’s event include Chrissy Lynch, President of Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Darlene Lombos, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of Greater Boston Labor Unions; and Frank Callahan, President of Massachusetts Building Trades Unions.

The Greater Boston Building Trades Unions represents 35,000 working families in the region, with the goal of advocating for economic justice, fair wages, comprehensive healthcare benefits, and “dignified” retirement options for those in the construction industry.

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