August 1, 2018, 2:00-3:00pm ET


This webinar discussed strategies for increasing gender diversity used by two union apprenticeship programs: the Sheet Metal Workers Local 28 New York and the Ironworkers International. Promising strategies include working with feeder programs that target and prepare women for working in the trades, setting up a national pre-apprenticeship program for women, and initiatives to improve retention such as designing pregnancy accommodation policies for women Ironworkers and proactively targeting harassment. The Local 28 Sheet Metal apprenticeship program has increased women’s share of apprentices to 14 percent by following intentional outreach and retention strategies.


This webinar was organized jointly by the National Center for Women’s Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment at Chicago Women in the Trades and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.


Speakers included Kevin Byrnes, Chief of Staff, Ironworkers International; Laura Doligosa Ironworker Apprentice at MA Rebar Services Inc. and graduate of Ironworker Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Chicago Women in the Trades; Vicki O’Leary General Organizer, Ironworkers International; Leah Rambo Director of Training, SMART Local Union 28 (New York); and Jayne Vellinga, Executive Director, Chicago Women in the Trades. The webinar was moderated by Ariane Hegewisch, IWPR.