Building Women, Not Just Houses
Founded in 1991 by Habitat for Humanity, Women Build is a program that encourages the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes.
Nationwide, more than 60% of Habitat homeowners are female heads of household. In Pierce County, that number over the past three years is close to 75%. As homeowners complete sweat equity hours and receive construction training, they gain the skills and confidence to maintain their homes.
Women Build seeks to bring that sense of strength and self-reliance to all women. Any woman who wants to learn how to build a home is invited to join. The atmosphere is collaborative and friendly, and no experience is necessary. Whether you are learning new skills or simply adding a few to your tool belt, Women Build is a rewarding experience for all involved, and improves the community we share.
Women Build 2021
Like most everything else during the COVID-19 pandemic, Women Build has gone virtual. Instead of build site opportunities and in-person workshops, we will continue offering virtual how-to skills classes and a new Women in Leadership Series in 2021. Thanks to support from partners and sponsors, these sessions are provided free of charge.
Please visit our blog for more on our operational status through the pandemic.
By investing in Women Build, you are helping provide valuable skills and knowledge that empower women to take on challenges in all aspects of their lives. You can support Women Build by purchasing an annual Women Build membership for yourself or give one as a gift.
Women Build membership is $120 annually*. Payments can be made in 12 monthly installments ($10/month) if desired.
Because Women Build memberships renew annually in July, memberships purchased between 12/1/2020 and 6/30/2021 will be billed $60 with the option to renew July 1.
Women Build members receive:
- Priority access to Women Build construction opportunities and other events
- Women Build t-shirt
To become a member, or gift a membership to someone else, click here. Once you finalize your membership purchase, you will be provided an access code to view/register for members-only activities.
Please note that all 2020 memberships are extended through 6/30/21 so members may have the opportunity to fully realize benefits.
Back of Women Build t-shirts:
Join us the first and third Wednesdays of each month for skills-based virtual workshops taught over Zoom. Check our Events Calendar for a lineup that includes interactive Q&A how-to sessions on drywall, plumbing, painting, and more.
In addition to skills workshops, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new Women in Leadership Series covering topics such as breaking down barriers in male dominated industries, conflict resolution, life/family balance, and more. Leadership sessions will be held on the second Wednesday of the month.
All Women Build Wednesday activities start at 4:30 PM, PST.
Join the Women Build Facebook group to keep pace with workshops, announcements and other Women Build activities.
Meet our Skills Workshop Instructors
Caitie | After graduating from University of Mary Washington in Virginia with a degree in biology, Caitie served two AmeriCorps terms as a Construction Site Coordinator with Habitat for Humanity, first in Delaware then in Tacoma. Following her AmeriCorps term in Tacoma, Caitie became a construction trainer for Goodwill’s YouthBuild program. Now living on the east coast, Caitie works as a Construction Site Manager for a Habitat affiliate in North Carolina.
Caitie continues volunteering with Women Build because she is passionate about teaching and empowering individuals, especially women and young people. She believes that creating a safe environment to learn, ask questions, and make mistakes helps people develop new skills as well as the confidence to use them.
Sandi | Growing up in a family of plumbers and handy persons, Sandi began learning from a young age skills for maintaining and repairing just about anything. She began taking apart bathroom fixtures at age 8, hanging drywall at age 13, and working on her own cars at 16.
For seven years Sandi was a member of the team that created and led the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood Makeover Week, providing training to Tacoma citizens on home maintenance and holding an annual event to beautify Tacoma neighborhoods. She enjoys using her varied skill set to work on projects at her own home and sharing her knowledge with others.
While we do plan to offer a limited number of in-person Women Build days on the construction site, these opportunities will depend on two things: (1) the ability to safely gather under post-pandemic health guidelines and (2) our construction workload.
Registration priority for build days will be given to 2021 Women Build Members and program sponsors. Groups may be asked to limit their number of participants and/or work in shifts according to current health guidelines.
To keep up to date on construction opportunities, join the Women Build Facebook group.
Women Build sponsors help sustain our program. In addition to coveted build site opportunities, the benefits of becoming a Women Build sponsor includes the opportunity to present workshop topics of your choice, plus social media and website recognition. Some levels include the opportunity for your CEO to share their advocacy for affordable housing with Habitat’s audience via our Leadership Spotlight.
Contact Tracey Sorenson for more information on becoming a Women Build sponsor.
History of Women Build
In 1991 a group of women in Charlotte, NC completed the first women-built Habitat for Humanity house, planting the seeds for Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program.
In 1997, first lady Hillary Clinton participated in a Women Build along with the first ladies from Kentucky and Oklahoma.
By 1998, Women Build had become an official Habitat for Humanity program.
The Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity affiliate has been participating in Women Build since 2001. Over 100 women volunteer each year, contributing time and funds to Habitat, as well as support to one another and to Habitat homeowners.
Women Build is growing internationally as well, empowering women everywhere to address poverty housing for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. Dozens of international Women Builds have taken place. The program aims to direct financial assistance to women-led projects worldwide.
Visit Habitat for Humanity International’s website for a comprehensive Women Build History.