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 Sisters in the Building Trades 

2nd Manila Tradeswomen Conference

Article in Building and Woodworkers International

Mission Statement 
The mission of the Sisters in the Building Trades is to expand a network of active women that will affirm building trades sisters as a positive and growing part of the construction workforce. To increase the number of tradeswomen through cooperative recruitment efforts and mentoring support for enhanced retention. Hold regular meetings allowing women to network and share their experiences; match mentors to new trades’ women; enter into partnership with disadvantaged women to provide encouragement and hope; and reinforce appropriate workplace conduct. Increase public awareness of construction careers; provide speakers to career fairs and other outreach opportunities; support recruiting efforts of apprenticeship programs; and use our skills in volunteer work.

If you are looking for information on our Tradeswomen Global Outreach please click the tab above

Broad Overview Below


Update…. September 22, 2019

Help is needed!!


We a tiny nonprofit, Tradeswomen and their supporters rented a 20 ft. container, loaded it with 12,930 pounds of tools, bags, gear, safety and supplies, with a declared value of $57,657, and paid to have it shipped 6,645 miles from Tacoma to Metro Manila. It will arrive at the port September 27th.

12 Tradeswomen Delegates will start flying to Manila October 4th.  Flying an additional 1,050 pounds to Manila and Papua New Guinea.

We filled 303 backpacks plus wheeled tool bags/boxes to give to the women at the Manila Tradeswomen Conference.

We packed tools and gear to adopt a Union Co-ed Vo-Tech to facilitate the training of tradeswomen in Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing and Painting.

We packed tools for 152 welder/metalworkers, 10 Plumbers, 20 Painters, 50 electricians, 25 electronic repair/low voltage electricians, 12 mechanics, 11 carpenters, 10 tile setters, 3 masons, and 3 bricklayers with the power and hand tools they would need in an effort to facilitate the creation of the first union, all-woman Contracting Co. in Manila.


We are delivering training/educational materials to the TESDA Women’s Center, the only government vocational training center in the country for women.


As of Today September 22, we are $8,500 short in our fundraising to pay for venues, feeding the attendees, and paying for the necessary ground transport.

there are many things we would like to be able to do, but this is the minimum still needed for the basics.


Please consider printing out our modifiable begging letter and sending it to a Union, Contractor, Labor Council, Building Trades Council, Industry Company, Industry Manufacturer, etc.

Please consider tossing a few bucks at our Fundraiser to help us pull off the impossible


Please take a look at our Online Auction Fundraiser were we have posted under “Discussion” a variety of items, from Pearls from the Philippines to HerStorical




We are now collecting new and used tools and asking Tradeswomen and Tradeswomen orgs to "Adopt a Sister" on the other side of the world. A Herculean feat for a group of every day women in the trades.

Please consider tossing a few bucks at our Fundraiser to help us pull off the impossible

Prime time news coverage on the largest stations in the country at last years event. We learned a few ways we could help last year, and that is what has shaped our outreach this year. 


At the conference we will be presenting backpacks and wheeled bags of tools to our “Adopted Sisters” and giving every attendee a Backpack that includes First Aid, Safety Gear and what tools, tee’s, hats, stickers, etc. we can, as a Sisterhood team gather.


We have a month to collect enough tools and gear to help our sisters on the other side of the world, "Changing their HerStory." For the price of your morning coffee, lunch, a cocktail on Friday... you can make a difference in the lives of real women, in struggle we all know, all too well.
Just tossing 10 bucks at the Amazon Wish List helps greatly. It automatically ships directly to us and has many things we are in dire need of... Like 8 more cases of backpacks by Auguest


August  30th we will be shipping by barge a 8'X8.5'X20' container from Seattle to the Philippines.
In October we will be flying to the Philippines, Sydney Australia, and then Papua New Guinea to connect with our Sisters, each flying with 2 boxes.

Just like here in the 70's... the governments are training women in non-traditional jobs, and then.... Leaving them to fight the battle of Getting Hired and Retaining a Decent job in male dominated industries.


We have a goal of outfitting a few dozen of the women who were trained who are NOT able to get hired doing what they were trained for. Give them tools as the edge they need, to pick up side work in their community to get experience, confidence, pay the bills and to enable them to compete with the men. In a country where power tools are a rare luxury a power saw and drill, hand tools, and a way to get them to work, are the edge they need to stand their ground, that "They Are what a Tradie looks like." 


Some sisters are shipping things in from Harbor Freight (please use that freebie coupon each time you go in, the tarp is a good item)  

Some have found seriously cool deals on Etsy and the web.


Amazon Wish-where we have listed many things we are trying to gather as a team. Please consider clicking the wish list and going shopping for an item or two. Items are priced between 2 bucks and under 50. listSome from Our Custom


Some are sourcing and collecting locally, tools new and used. Some are cleaning out the box, bag, shed, garage, etc. and or asking others to do so.

Ship to Sisters in the Building Trades
17701 108th Ave SE, #131

Renton WA 98055


Example letters will go up to use to ask unions, employers and others to help pitch in. As well as for Tradeswomen to ask for help adding to their Travel Kitty to make part or all of the trip as part of an International Tradeswomen Delegation.  

Yes, last year a contractor paid full boat and a union paid full boat for a Sister to go on one leg of the outreach. Fairly good odds as they were the only two to put in an ask to a contractor or a union.


Women were trained as



Motorcycle and Auto Mechanics



Electrical Residential install, repair and Solar Install


Electrical appliance assembly and repair


The question

.... Can we help them start a Women Construction Company?.... This is what the first step of that looks like! The plumbers are making a serious dent in making that happen.

Our Sisters in Manila make $10.29 a Day, and min wage in Papua New Guinea is 95 cents an hour....


Literally, us each donating even just One hours wage, will change their HerStory.































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