For Immediate Release: March 8, 2021
Contact: Mark Brueggenjohann 202-728-6014
Honoring Women’s History Month
IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement on Women’s History Month:
“Throughout the history of the labor movement, women have made critical contributions to the cause of workers’ rights and the IBEW.
Even in the IBEW’s early years, when women faced widespread discrimination, including from inside our union’s ranks, women leaders made this union what it is today. Leaders like Julia O'Connor, who helped organize female phone operators in the 1910s and 20s, Mary Hoznik, the IBEW’s first woman organizer, and Marlene Motel, who in 1972 became one of the United States’ first journeywomen electricians, helped blaze a trail for every woman who came after them.
Women workers continue to make IBEW history today, not just on the job but in communities throughout North America.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we must also take note of the continuing discrimination faced by women today, especially women of color. According to the U.S. Census, women earn on average just 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
That is why it is more important than ever to emphasize just how vital unions are to eliminating the gender wage gap. For example, working women in unions make 94 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to unionized working men. While even more must be done, the proof is undeniable that collective bargaining and unions do more to close the wage gap than almost any other factor.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.