Women still comprise less than 3% of the skilled trades labor force and apprenticeships. In comparison, women now comprise 36% of paramedics, 35% of athletes/coaches/umpires, 15% of the military, and 12% of police officers.

(Resource: 2013 Legal Momentum Report)

Another compelling statistic is that 50% of all of the Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Oregon do not have a single woman apprentice in their program.

Clearly, we have a long way to go with regards to women in the trades. That’s why Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. exists!

  • Mission: Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., (OTI) is dedicated to promoting success for women in the trades through education, leadership and mentorship.
  • Founded by Connie Ashbrook and three other tradeswomen in 1989 – 25 years ago

OTI Programs:

Building Girls – An outreach program to engage middle and high school girls in careers in the trades.

Pathways to Success & the Trades and Apprenticeship Career Class – A seven week state-certified, pre-apprenticeship class for women – that includes classroom and in the field training for jobs in the trades. Graduates also receive career counseling & job placement assistance – throughout their entire career!

TOOLS (Tradeswomen Organized for Outreach, Leadership and Support) – a program that offers leadership training for women in the trades to advocate for equity.

Women in Trades Career Fair – the largest, non-traditional fair held here in Portland to educate girls and women about the career opportunities.
OTI is funded by grants, memberships and donations. The organization is operated via the tenets of the mission and our values. For example, our board of directors is made up of entirely women and will remain so until the trades industry demonstrates gender equity in its leadership. Half of the members are tradeswomen as this is a leadership development opportunity as well.

* OTI is a participant in this year’s WW Give Guide and we have two community partners who matched up to $5000 in donations. Click here to donate!

* Save the date for our 2015 Trades Career Fair – it is taking place May 14, 15, & 16 – would love to see you all there on that Saturday when we are open to the general public. You can climb telephone poles, fix a water main break and all kinds of fun things like that. You can also chat with tradeswomen – there is also a tradeswomen fashion show!

Click here for more information about Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.!

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