The United Brotherhood of Carpenters, along with its regional arms, has been working to attract more women to the trade through training programs and initiatives to encourage solidarity and community.
Although the United Brotherhood of Carpenters has the word “brother” in its name, the group has a message for women: You’re welcome here.
In recent years, the trade union has taken steps to encourage more women to join the trade and has aimed to build support for women carpenters through its Sisters in the Brotherhood program.
Since announcing the program a few years ago, the union has created a short film to highlight the work of women in the field and a number of regional organizations affiliated with the union—including the Mid-Atlantic Carpenters’ Training Center, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, and the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters—which run pre-apprentice programs targeted at introducing women to the trade.
Just 2 percent of all carpenters nationally are women. “For the most part, most women don’t grow up thinking, ‘OK, I want to be a carpenter,’” said Susan Schultz, head of the Eastern branch of Sisters in the Brotherhood, in comments to The Baltimore Sun. “We’re trying to change that image.”