IBEW 569 sent Christina Dietrichson, a first year apprentice who has volunteered for many of our community events, to the IBEW 2016 Women’s Conference. Below is her report.
First and foremost I would like to thank the people who were involved in giving me the chance to attend the 2016 IBEW Women’s Conference in Phoenix Arizona.
As a first year apprentice I did not know what to expect, but when I arrived my eyes were open to a whole world of something I’ve never experienced before. Approximately 450 people attended this event including International Vice President of the Ninth District John O’Rourke and International President Lonnie Stephenson whom which I both had the pleasure of meeting. Alongside them hundreds of strong, proud female IBEW members stood tall as they boasted about what it meant to be an IBEW member and where they plan to take the IBEW in the future.
So many people in one room with such drive, motivation, emotion, and dedication really creates an amazing environment which provides a true sense of the word brotherhood. During this event the IBEW announced that it has created the first international women’s committee! Talk about boosting spirits! This paves the way for future IBEW members and reiterates the role of women in the union, encouraging others to get involved.
Overall two main concepts I took away from this conference are the importance of communication and the need for members to stand strong behind their union.
Communication is key, from on the job journeymen to apprentice mentorship, organization of future members, and recruitment of our younger members. Knowing how to effectively communicate can make a huge difference in the outcome of any situation. Adaptation to your audience and to current circumstances is a key factor and goes hand in hand with the growth of the IBEW. Furthermore good communication is imperative to having strong union members. When there is an understanding of what it is to be a part of a union, members will be more likely to get involved creating greater diversity. Active members recruit others and draw more to follow, further spreading the word.
We union members have a duty to protect, maintain, and direct this union towards the path we wish to go. Members are key and proper communication will enable us to achieve our goals. Lastly, I know many female members of the IBEW experience the tremors of what the union” used to be.” All members, not just my fellow females, need to stand up for what’s right! We are brothers and sisters; we are equal; we are union.
Again I want thank you all for this opportunity; it will forever hold ground in my path to becoming an inside wiremen and strong IBEW union member!