Today for Queer Pride month on KPFA Radio’s Women’s Magazine we talk to two local Queer women tradeswomen who have been at the forefront of activism in the unions to help bring more women into the trades. And while much has changed since the 70’s when there wasn’t even a word for the gender harassment women suffered in the trades today the trades are still only 4% women and are still largely straight white men.
To look at the issue of gender in the trades we speak to retired union electrician Molly Martin, who is a co-founder of Tradeswomen, Inc. and the quarterly magazine Tradeswomen, and the author of Hard-Hatted Women: Stories of Struggle and Success in the Trades and Wonder Woman Electric to the Rescue Along with other tradeswomen activists around the country, she is currently writing a history of the tradeswomen movement.
And we talk to local electrician and activist Noreen Buckley who has been in the construction industry for 6 years, joining the IBEW union, local 6 San Francisco in 2017. She is the co-chair of Local 6’s Golden Gate Women’s Committee and a co-founder of Tradeswomen Building Bridges.