In 1851 at the women’s suffrage convention, an African American woman named Sojourner Truth challenged those who claimed that women should not be able to vote because women “needed helped into carriages”, and were too dainty to be sullied by participating in a man’s world. To that Sojourner answered, “Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it, and ain’t I a woman?” One hundred sixty-five years later, that refrain still applies.
Hourly jobs often held by women are most often low paying. These “pink collar” jobs often do not pay a living wage, but the physical requirements of the jobs are often similar to the physical requirements of traditionally male held hourly positions in which men earn much more money. For transgender members, the challenge of finding employment that pays a living wage is even more difficult. An exception to these general rules is union jobs.
With modern machinery, the need for brute strength has vanished in many union trades. These positions offer more than a chance to make a living wage. They offer people a chance to be trained in an apprenticeship and get paid during that training. They offer the chance to be independent and rise out of poverty to create a fulfilling career that will support a family.
An introduction to the trades and the unions will be held at TGP on May 18th 10-11:30 to answer all of those questions that women and transgender members might have about the trades and opportunities available. A construction and trades fair will be held on May 23rd from 9:30 – 11:30 in partnership with the Denver Area Labor Federation who is actively recruiting women and transgender individuals to be painters, electricians, pipefitters, sheetmetal workers, and drywall finishers.