Mary Battle, a cement mason with more than 30 years of experience, made history in 2011 when she was unanimously elected as business manager of Plasterers and Cement Masons (OPCMIA) Local 891 in Washington, D.C. Battle was the first woman in the union’s history to hold that post.
Battle achieved another first this month when she became the first women profiled for Tradeswomen’s Tuesday. It’s a new Web feature from Legal Momentum, one of the wide range of women’s advocacy groups that make up the Tradeswomen’s Taskforce, which also includes the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Committee on Women in the Trades.
Battle, a mother of six and grandmother of three who has worked on many impressive job sites, including FedEx Field, where the Washington Redskins play, and M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens are based, says she had to overcome some obstacles and attitudes from male co-workers and foremen, but adds:
Once I pushed the issue and said you’re not going to do or say anything and everything to me, things changed.
Read the full piece here and check back every Tuesday for a new feature.
See the video below of Battle’s 2012 address to the Women Build California and the Nation Conference sponsored by the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California:
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