Mechanical Insulators Labor Management and Cooperative Trust Deputy Director Gina Walsh appeared on the Oct. 12 episode of America’s Work Force Union podcast to give a preview of the North America’s Building Trades Unions’ Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference.
Walsh told AWF Union Podcast host Ed “Flash” Ferenc how listeners can register for this year's virtual conference.
She said this conference is one of the best events of the year because it gives women the opportunity to come together and work together to make even more advancements in the male-dominated construction industry.
The event is the largest gathering of tradespeople and is routinely the highest attended NABTU event of the year, surpassing even their annual legislative conference.
Walsh told listeners they can sign up for the main workshop event and also gather for smaller caucuses scheduled in the runup and immediately following the conclusion of the conference.
A former member of Insulators Local 1, she explained how she came up through the ranks of the Insulators Union and her experiences as a woman on a jobsite.
Walsh recalled being let go as a temporary employee with the elevator constructors and then sitting for hours in an Insulators Union Hall waiting for a chance to work. After waiting for hours, they accepted her information and told her they would call when they began accepting apprentices.
Nine months after sitting in the Union Hall, Walsh got the call she was accepted into the apprenticeship program.
She ended her conversation by noting the changes she has seen throughout her years on jobsites. Although the industry is predominantly made up of men, she said she is seeing more women on construction sites as the years pass.
Walsh said women are beginning to see the benefits of livable wages, healthcare and retirement benefits that come with a career in the union building trades.
Listen to the full interview below: