Tradeswomen Global Outreach 2019

By Sisters in the Building Trades

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In the USA women make up just 2.5% of the construction trades workers. The same number we were at in 1978. In Australia it is 1%.

Just like in the USA in the 70's... governments in developing nations are working to train women in non-traditional careers, and then.... Leaving them to fight the battle of Getting Hired and Retaining a Decent job in male dominated industries.

Last year The Sisters in the Building Trades, a Seattle Based 501C3 Nonprofit, put on the first conference by Tradeswomen for Tradeswomen in another country.

This year we will go back to Manila, and try to change their history by bringing Safety Gear, First Aid Kits and TOOLS that are Greatly needed to allow them to get the experience, do work in their community, support their families, and give them the edge to compete and succeed in a trade.

Sunday Prime Time News Film coverage of the 2018 Manila Tradeswomen Gathering. Hosted by The Sisters in the Building Trades, TESDA and the BWI (Building and Woodworkers International Federation)

This year we have added Papua New Guinea to our outreach, helping start and get rolling the first Tradeswomen Non Profit in the country and putting on the First Meri Tradies Gathering (Meri means Woman).

This is not your normal conference, nor are these your average conference bags. These bags contain hand tools, power tools, safety gear, 1st aid kits, and personal emergency kits. Most of the bags will be back packs so they can carry their tools to work. Some are wheeled bags, some are dolly’s with ruck sacks attached. Not a single tradeswoman of the 322 we met last year had a car or truck. Back packs and wheeled bags are needed to allow them to transport tools to work.

September 5th, we loaded 12,930 pounds of bags, tools and gear with an approximate value of $57,645 into a 20 ft shipping container and paid to have it shipped 6,645 miles from Tacoma Washington to Metro Manila. We put every penny we could get into filling the container to be as effective as we could manage.

We need funds now to put on the events.

We need to feed breakfast, lunch and evening snack to those attending the 8am to 5pm conference Sunday. In the Philippines, the work week is 6 days long. This is their only day off and many will travel.

We need to raise funds to rent vans to bring some of the women in from outside of the metro area and more to take the "Adopt a Sister" women home or closer to home, loaded with work gear. Before that we have a community gathering where we will spend the day with local women, in residential areas and help them with a press conference highlighting getting women into the trades. The Monday after the conference we are putting on a saw safety training and adopting the carpentry program in the rural area North of Manila. Tuesday we are having an informal gathering around a meal with the local tradeswomen.

We need to raise funds to pay dues so the women can have a voice in the Philippines National Union of Building and Construction Workers, and get support from the Association of Women Workers in the Construction Industry. At an equivalent of $18 for a year’s dues for both organizations combined per woman, it is not much for what they get out of it, but it is also $5,400 in funds we need to raise to hit that goal.

Min Wage in Manila is $10.37 a DAY. Min wage in Papua New Guinea is 95cents an hour. A good job in PNG is $3 an hour. No... Tools are Not dirt cheap there, they are not much cheaper there, than here, and most of those available to them are very low quality. Power tools are rare for the average Joe. So arming our Sisters with what we can, will give them the competitive edge they so desperately need.

The Venue in Manila will hold 350 and we Know we will over fill the space. We plan on up to 65 women in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

As in the Philippines, in Papua New Guinea we need to cover venue, feed them, rent a bus, and fund the conference as well as the side events.

The Sisters in the Building Trades was the only "out of country" support for the first Australian Tradeswomen Conference.

For the Second Aussie conference, we had grown to a Tradeswomen delegation of 7.

In 2009 the Founder of SALT, Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen came to Women Build California. That year women across the US helped her write a 50 page white paper to the government and supported her in starting the first Tradeswomen Nonprofit Down Under. They have, and continue to change history.

In 2014, 7 Aussies made it to Women Build California and the Nation. Inspiring over 800 Tradeswomen on what could be done, as a global team.

After the Australian Women in Trades Conference in Sydney this October, SALT will join us to put on the Meri Tradies Gathering, and support our Sisters in their first Tradeswomen Nonprofit and organizing efforts in Papua New Guinea.

The International Tradeswoman Delegation will be buying their own plane tickets. They are self-selected women who will pay the cost, take the time off, and put in the efforts to help change our Herstory. Any tradeswoman is welcome to join us. From 10 days to 30.

To defray costs we will be packed usually 2 to a bed, or 4 to a room, or 12 to an Airbnb. Even with that, we need to raise funds to defray the costs of ground transportation and lodging large enough to prepare for the events.
We also need to feed those tradeswomen able to join us after work or take the day off for various meetings, informal gatherings and community outreach.

We are begging for help to pull off the impossible.

Empowering Tradeswomen to reach around the world, learn, teach, help and grow into future leadership that changes our culture and world.

$5 bucks to $1,000 bucks, all donations will help us pull off the impossible.

If you or your company has contacts or locations in the Philippines or Papua New Guinea, we would like to reach out to them and inform them of the event and effort. Please e-mail us at

Many of the needed items are listed on our Amazon Wish List.... at

At this point Each Tradeswoman Delegate will be giving up their 100 lb luggage allowance and living out of their carry on and personal bag so that we can airlift the rest of what we can bring to the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

Ship to Sisters in the Building Trades

17701 108th Ave SE, #131

Renton WA 98055

If what you can give is to pass the hat at the hall or jobsite, post a flyer at your company, forward an e-mail to those who may wish to be involved, documents and photos are posted on our website
as well as on our FB Page

If what you can do is talk your union, apprenticeship or company out of a small donation and or some Tee's, hats, stickers, safety gear, and Trade Educational Material or permission to put up a pickle jar for donations at your jobsite or local we are grateful if you could mail them in or drop them by.

We need all the help we can get to pull off the impossible, you are welcome to join us, chipping in the price of a cup of coffee, an hours wage, a days labor, to getting on a plane in October and joining us.

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Team Members

Sisters in the Building Trades

Anne Ware

Carolina Taylor

Dawn Maddox

Deborah Mykkell Phillips

Deirdre Williams

Fi Shewring

Kelly Kienleitner

Laurie Gonor

Lisa Gillean-Dickenson

Magdaline Yen

Margie Ann Garlick

Melina Harris

Sheryl Brown

Suzanne Scheans

Tamera Guilinger

Tammy Keen

Tena Roye

Teresa Downey

Tess aka Teresita Ronquillo