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Lean In Circles
for Union Tradeswomen

Connecting and empowering women in the trades.

About the partnership

Lean In.Org, North America Building Trades Union (NABTU), and Build Together are excited to launch a new program to connect and empower women in the trades. There is power in women coming together—and we’re looking forward to starting this journey with you!

About the pilot program

Starting in November 2019, we will be piloting the program in St. Louis, in partnership with Missouri Building and Trades Council and the St. Louis Building Trades, and in Canada, in partnership with Build Together.

Learn more about Circles.

About Circles

Lean In Circles are small groups of women who meet regularly to support each other and learn new skills together. Your Circle is a safe space to connect with other tradeswomen, speak openly about the challenges you’re facing, and build skills and confidence to navigate bias at work.

  • Monthly meetings
    You’ll join a Circle with 8 to 12 other tradeswomen and meet once a month for six months.

  • Custom materials
    Each meeting features content and tools created specifically for women in the trades.

  • Wider network
    You’ll be invited to our private Facebook group for tradeswomen participating in the program.

Access the custom materials we created for women in the trades.

View resources

Learn more about Lean In Circles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my Circle have women just from my trade or include women from other trades?
Your Circle will be made up of women from across trades. Women, regardless of trade, face similar experiences when it comes to bias and sexism on the jobsite.
When and where will my Circle meet?
Your moderator will determine the best time and meeting place based on where Circle members are located.
What happens if not everyone can make the meeting?
Still have the meeting! Those who have come to the meeting made the time to be there, so it’s important that the Circle meeting continues.
What should I do if I have a question?
If you have a question about your Circle, ask your moderator directly. If you have a question that you want to pose to a bigger group for discussion, post it in the Facebook group for Circles members.
Can I join if I’m not currently working?
Yes! You have valuable experience to bring to your Circle and will also benefit from hearing from your Circle members.
How were these materials developed?
Lean In developed the materials for this program in collaboration with tradeswomen, union administrators, and academic researchers. Throughout the materials, you will find quotes from real tradeswomen as well as references to academic research and Lean In’s workplace research, which you can explore on the research sources page.
Can I bring my child to my Circle meeting?
Talk to your moderator about whether the Circle members feel comfortable having kids in the room during your meeting.
What should we do if someone in our Circle shares something that is dangerous or illegal?
If someone shares that they feel unsafe or that they can’t perform their job, it’s important to encourage your fellow Circle member to bring their concern to a jobsite safety officer, union steward, or another authority figure they trust.