Happy National Skilled Trades Day! Today, I’d like to recognize and support women in skilled trades.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are more than 10 million job openings in the U.S. — but only 5.7 million unemployed workers. And a disproportionate number of those unfilled jobs are skilled labor.
Adding to those alarming numbers is the fact that women still only make up 4 percent of the total number of skilled trades workers.
What’s Preventing More Women from Working in Skilled Trades?
There are a myriad of reasons contributing to these startling statistics, but one of the biggest issues impacting women entering these careers is access to education.
Dunwoody College of Technology has long realized the need for intentionality to address this issue from an industry perspective and from a gender gap perspective. Studies conclude that industries across all spectrums benefit in a multitude of ways when there is gender parity.
Kate Dunwoody Society: A Lasting Legacy
Several years ago I became a member of the Kate Dunwoody Society (KDS), created in recognition and honor of Kate L. Dunwoody, whose visionary leadership helped open doors for women in the early 1900s.
As an aside, I will say that it is jarring to me that over 100 years later, we are still working to address this need, and it pushes me harder to continue this important work.
Support Access to Education for Women in Skilled Trades
One of the KDS initiatives is the Kate Dunwoody Luncheon, which raises scholarship dollars for women seeking technical careers. What started as a humble event with a few women gathered over lunch, has grown into a thriving event with hundreds in attendance.
I have personally had the opportunity to watch this event grow over the last six years, and as the co-chair of this year’s luncheon, we have raised the bar once again to increase the assistance for women. (My personal goal is for my four granddaughters to wonder why we ever needed special initiatives like this!)
2023 Kate Dunwoody Luncheon
This year’s event will be held on November 15 from 12-1:30 at the Metropolitan Ballroom. Every year, this is a sold-out event supported by many industry names, so mark your calendars now. The keynote speaker has yet to be announced, but I can promise it will not disappoint.
In the meantime, I invite you to join the Kate Dunwoody Society, which is a network of people united to create equal opportunities for the Women of Dunwoody by:
- creating a community dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in technical careers and the high-skill trades;
- identifying and addressing barriers that women face in the technical industries that Dunwoody serves;
- providing a supportive network that facilitates pathways to success; and
- empowering and inspiring the Women of Dunwoody to reach their full potential
This National Skilled Trades Day, let’s get this important work done, so that we are not still talking about it another 100 years from now!