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Old 01-01-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default local 98 members? question from prospective female member

I'll try to keep this brief-

I applied to IBEW 380 last year, passed my test, had a good interview- but they told me to reapply next year with construction environment experience. I'm 25 with bills, my own place, car, etc and couldn't afford to take a 10/hr part time gopher job. Fast forward, I got a job in IT (entry level help desk position) and started a Computer Networking degree at the local community college. I've been working help desk and studying for a year now and networking/IT is definitely not my passion however it is "safe" and pays well.

Local 380 merged with 98 and I am really starting to strongly consider reapplying to local 98, I can't stand sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day sending emails and taking phone calls. I like to build, fix, and create things with my hands and tools. One of the board members called me over the summer to see if I was still interested, I told him I had to take another position due to money. I forget where we left things but I am assuming I am still eligible.

My boyfriend and family are against the idea, they do not think a woman should be in the trades. My boyfriend is in a trade (not electricians) and says that the men will never respect me, will try to get me to quit at all costs, and basically try to make my life a living hell on the job.
I understand this is a boys club, I don't care about crude talk, bikini/chick pictures on the job site, cursing, etc. I'm a hard worker and excel at anything I put my mind to.

Can anyone provide insight on how local 98 treats women in the trade? Their website has a picture of a group of women so it seems like they are promoting women joining up. I'm ready to handle the occasional heckler or **** head but I don't want every day to be a battle to survive mentally.
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:24 PM   #2
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Reapply for a position. You will be fine besides the occasional **** head. I have a woman out of the local that works for me. She is a great worker and is good at what she does. Always willing to learn more and accept more responsibility.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
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You'll be fine, we've got a few women at my local. Just remember "respect is earned, not expected". As long as you don't do stupid stuff like energizing a 480v. switch rack while people are still working on it (always KNOW what your energizing, before you do) people won't hate you.
Okay here's the sexist part.......Big boobs are always a plus. (I'm sorry, but so is a sense of humor)
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:16 AM   #4
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Always willing to learn more and accept more responsibility.
Yep, sounds like me! I am positive I am going to re-apply. Thanks for th reply!
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Old 01-25-2016, 09:20 AM   #5
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You'll be fine, we've got a few women at my local. Just remember "respect is earned, not expected". As long as you don't do stupid stuff like energizing a 480v. switch rack while people are still working on it (always KNOW what your energizing, before you do) people won't hate you.
Okay here's the sexist part.......Big boobs are always a plus. (I'm sorry, but so is a sense of humor)
Thanks for the advice about earning respect. That is probably one of the things I hear the most- pull your weight, don't complain, be willing to learn and you'll earn your place and eventually respect.

Sorry boys, gonna do my best to strap these bad boys down under some mens shirts! No free show here.

I have a good sense of humor. I've always gravitated towards male dominated activites: snowboarding, disc golf, paintball, video games. I can definitely hang with the guys and know that guy talk is bound to happen. I'm good at tuning it out. And laughing at their stupidity!
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Old 01-27-2016, 06:58 PM   #6
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Understand that as an apprentice, especially, a first year...Everybody eats s#$%! Re apply. From 7 tp 330 dont take it personal. We have female apprentices in our local and JW's. Also, once excepted, say as little as possible and dont get too personal with the guys. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:51 PM   #7
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I was a 380 member before the io came in and gave away our local and territory to 98 due to a underfunded and mismanaged pension fund. We, the members of 380 didn't get to vote on the decision, we didn't get to elect new officials and try to remedy the problems. We just got absorbed by 98. Local 98 is a corporation, they don't give a **** about their members. They withhold information about jobs and procedures and lie to your face.
With that being said, I served a 5 year apprenticeship in 380, and I would not have been able to get a better education if i paid for it.
As for being a woman in the trade, you will need to earn your respect, work hard, don't expect special treatment, leave your feelings and sensitivity at home and essentially work like a man. I have had the opportunity to work with several women some not so good and some that will work and think circles around a man. More than a couple women in 380 were #1 in their apprenticeship class, and I have had the opportunity to work with them and learn from them.
Alot of things have changed with the apprenticeship since the 98 takeover so I may not be able to answer all your questions. I am having breakfast with a 98 north instructor next week, so if you do have any questions send me a message and I can ask him.
Sorry about the whining, you would be cranky too if your local only had 7 weeks of work for you in 2015.
Hope this helps
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Old 01-30-2016, 02:58 PM   #8
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I just got accepted into IBEW Local 11 and I'm a chick. I'll be starting the training camp on Feb 8th. Anyways, I previously was working for a freight company operating a forklift and loading trucks with a bunch of men. Before that I had a government office job for 7 years. I decided to change my career for the excitement and the money. Here's the thing I'm a 26 year old, single mom going to school for electrical engineering and I wanted a job to get my hands dirty. So I went out and did it. Working with men can usually be a lot of fun. As someone stated respect is earned, which is 100% true. I'm sure all the dudes at the freight company were judging me at first but once they realized I was willing to work and do the job right they grew to really like me. They were always telling me how much they liked working with a chick who can get he job done.

I dealt a lot more with about 5 married men hitting on me then any sexism. But that was easy for me to ignore and just carried on with my day. If there was any sexist a******s they either didn't talk to me or I just ignored it.

It's simple, this is my career and my life. If someone wants to be upset all day about it then that's fine.

I think you will be fine and don't let anyone, even your family, tell you any differently. Just go to work and get your job done . Do the job right and don't get too involved in work place drama. I think you will find that most of the men will be pretty cool to work with.

Also, after my interview I was talking to a gentleman who I believe worked higher up in the company. He was really nice and asked me why I wanted to be there and told me how great it is to see a female applying for the job. He told me that as a female there are a lot of opportunities to move around the company and move up, same opportunities the men have.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bigpatofpa View Post
I was a 380 member before the io came in and gave away our local and territory to 98 due to a underfunded and mismanaged pension fund. We, the members of 380 didn't get to vote on the decision, we didn't get to elect new officials and try to remedy the problems. We just got absorbed by 98. Local 98 is a corporation, they don't give a **** about their members. They withhold information about jobs and procedures and lie to your face.
With that being said, I served a 5 year apprenticeship in 380, and I would not have been able to get a better education if i paid for it.
As for being a woman in the trade, you will need to earn your respect, work hard, don't expect special treatment, leave your feelings and sensitivity at home and essentially work like a man. I have had the opportunity to work with several women some not so good and some that will work and think circles around a man. More than a couple women in 380 were #1 in their apprenticeship class, and I have had the opportunity to work with them and learn from them.
Alot of things have changed with the apprenticeship since the 98 takeover so I may not be able to answer all your questions. I am having breakfast with a 98 north instructor next week, so if you do have any questions send me a message and I can ask him.
Sorry about the whining, you would be cranky too if your local only had 7 weeks of work for you in 2015.
Hope this helps

Sorry to hear that, man. I hope things get better as time goes on for the 380 guys. Sounds to me like they are still treating the locals separately? I called 98 a couple weeks back to see if my 380 scores would transfer but they said I have to retest. Not really sure how it works if they're supposed to be absorbed.

Sorry I didn't see your message sooner, thanks for the offer to get some questions answered. Appreciate it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stealthi View Post
I just got accepted into IBEW Local 11 and I'm a chick. I'll be starting the training camp on Feb 8th. Anyways, I previously was working for a freight company operating a forklift and loading trucks with a bunch of men. Before that I had a government office job for 7 years. I decided to change my career for the excitement and the money. Here's the thing I'm a 26 year old, single mom going to school for electrical engineering and I wanted a job to get my hands dirty. So I went out and did it. Working with men can usually be a lot of fun. As someone stated respect is earned, which is 100% true. I'm sure all the dudes at the freight company were judging me at first but once they realized I was willing to work and do the job right they grew to really like me. They were always telling me how much they liked working with a chick who can get he job done.

I dealt a lot more with about 5 married men hitting on me then any sexism. But that was easy for me to ignore and just carried on with my day. If there was any sexist a******s they either didn't talk to me or I just ignored it.

It's simple, this is my career and my life. If someone wants to be upset all day about it then that's fine.

I think you will be fine and don't let anyone, even your family, tell you any differently. Just go to work and get your job done . Do the job right and don't get too involved in work place drama. I think you will find that most of the men will be pretty cool to work with.

Also, after my interview I was talking to a gentleman who I believe worked higher up in the company. He was really nice and asked me why I wanted to be there and told me how great it is to see a female applying for the job. He told me that as a female there are a lot of opportunities to move around the company and move up, same opportunities the men have.
Thanks for the reply! I was hoping to hear from another lady on here- I'd love to hear how your bootcamp and first job go.

Everyone in the trade (man or woman) that I've talked to is telling me to go for it, so I'm gonna politely ignore my family and follow my heart. Sitting at a desk all day is really bringing me down and I just don't think they understand because they don't mind sitting in front of a computer all day or sitting in meeting after meeting in the fake corporate world.

I usually get along better with guys anyway, so I am nervous but hopeful that like after everyone said, I earn respect and my place, the guys will not mind or maybe even enjoy working with me.

Good luck to you!
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Old 02-21-2016, 05:50 PM   #11
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i have two women in my class although i havent worked around either others in the class have, one does really good from what i understand. the other not so much. being in the union often times your reputation precedes you before you get on the job just do the best you can and you will be fine.

and dont let the ****heads get to ya
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:12 AM   #12
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I think the lack of respect, warranted or not, comes from many women in the trade not being treated equally with job task. Whether that is management or the physical ability of the women themselves I do not know.
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Old 02-23-2016, 05:30 PM   #13
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I'll try to keep this brief-

I applied to IBEW 380 last year, passed my test, had a good interview- but they told me to reapply next year with construction environment experience. I'm 25 with bills, my own place, car, etc and couldn't afford to take a 10/hr part time gopher job. Fast forward, I got a job in IT (entry level help desk position) and started a Computer Networking degree at the local community college. I've been working help desk and studying for a year now and networking/IT is definitely not my passion however it is "safe" and pays well.

Local 380 merged with 98 and I am really starting to strongly consider reapplying to local 98, I can't stand sitting at a desk for 9 hours a day sending emails and taking phone calls. I like to build, fix, and create things with my hands and tools. One of the board members called me over the summer to see if I was still interested, I told him I had to take another position due to money. I forget where we left things but I am assuming I am still eligible.

My boyfriend and family are against the idea, they do not think a woman should be in the trades. My boyfriend is in a trade (not electricians) and says that the men will never respect me, will try to get me to quit at all costs, and basically try to make my life a living hell on the job.
I understand this is a boys club, I don't care about crude talk, bikini/chick pictures on the job site, cursing, etc. I'm a hard worker and excel at anything I put my mind to.

Can anyone provide insight on how local 98 treats women in the trade? Their website has a picture of a group of women so it seems like they are promoting women joining up. I'm ready to handle the occasional heckler or **** head but I don't want every day to be a battle to survive mentally.

I'm in 98 and I have seen multiple females in our union and they are all treated just as fairly as men. We have a good amount of work and I'm told were going to get a lot more as you can tell every block in philly you will see a ton of construction. so now is a great time to join. You'll have a great chance of getting in being a female too as long as you do well on the aptitude test and interview. 98 is a great Union, and we have great upper management and probably the best apprentice training program around. You get paid one day a week to go to school as opposed to working and having school at night like other IBEW locals. Our pay rate for journey workers is somewhere around $52/hour which is great money and we have great benefits. Let me know if you have any questions I'll try and help.
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Old 02-23-2016, 07:50 PM   #14
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I think the lack of respect, warranted or not, comes from many women in the trade not being treated equally with job task. Whether that is management or the physical ability of the women themselves I do not know.
Good point. I've been told this before, that guys will start to dislike you if the foreman or other guys give you the easy jobs. I'm hoping to be able to remember and notice when a foreman or journeyman is holding back on assigning me tasks and take it upon my self to volunteer for the less desirable tasks.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:00 PM   #15
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I'm in 98 and I have seen multiple females in our union and they are all treated just as fairly as men. We have a good amount of work and I'm told were going to get a lot more as you can tell every block in philly you will see a ton of construction. so now is a great time to join. You'll have a great chance of getting in being a female too as long as you do well on the aptitude test and interview. 98 is a great Union, and we have great upper management and probably the best apprentice training program around. You get paid one day a week to go to school as opposed to working and having school at night like other IBEW locals. Our pay rate for journey workers is somewhere around $52/hour which is great money and we have great benefits. Let me know if you have any questions I'll try and help.
So glad you responded! I was hoping a 98 guy would show up.
I'm really glad to hear that women are getting a fair chance, I felt pretty good about it seeing the picture of the group of women on the 98 website, but construction is so different than what I do now.

I have a ton of questions! I'll gather my thoughts and shoot you a PM
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:41 PM   #16
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I got your PM and I responded. Let me know if you don't get my response.
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