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International Women’s Day

in Partner, Women Build

Friday, March 8, 2024 was a milestone for Tacoma Habitat: For the first time ever, 100% of the staff and volunteers on our construction site were female.

Meredith, a Construction Site Manager Apprentice, led the day with assistance from AmeriCorps members Alli and Catherine who are Construction Crew Leads. Also on site were a group of 10 female Amazon employees and Pierce County Council Member, Robyn Denson. Together, the group worked through interior finish tasks and scrapped out two homes at our American Lake Townhomes project.

“I love to work with women,” said Council Member Denson, after loading out a piece of drywall. “Everyone pitches in and works collaboratively.”

Denson was part of group of six who lifted and removed giant slabs of leftover drywall from the second floor of one home in order to prepare for flooring installation. The group then moved a large lumber pile for recycling. Another group painted interior doors.

International Women’s Day, which grew out of efforts in the early 20th century to promote women’s rights, has been recognized by the United Nations since 1975 and is set aside to honor the achievements of women. Observed annually on March 8, International Women’s Day celebrates the global social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and calls for action to advance gender equality.

Amanda, a Regional Learning Manager and member of the Women at Amazon affinity group, attended all three of Amazon’s Women Build events with Tacoma Habitat this year. “I’ve been able to learn how to side, frame, roof, take down and paint doors,” she says. “It’s been exciting.”

Amazon is the 2023/2024 presenting sponsor of Women Build and with their support, Tacoma Habitat was able to provide four public Women Build construction days in addition to those exclusive to Amazon employees. Tacoma Habitat is intentional about having its female construction staff lead these days.

September will mark Meredith’s two-year anniversary in the apprentice program, at which point she will likely become Tacoma Habitat’s first female Site Manager. “I’m proud of that, but it’s also a little crazy,” shares Meredith. “It’s a strange feeling to be the first.”

Today, 44% of Tacoma Habitat’s construction staff is female—an increase that is also reflected in the number of female volunteers. Says Meredith, “I’m happy to be part of creating a space where women feel comfortable.”

Posted in: Partner, Women Build