March – A Month to Celebrate Women!
We invite you to log into our Zoom Happy Hour Wednesday, March 8th from 6:00-7:00 pm to hear Lauline Mitchell, ESP, our Special Guest Speaker for International Women’s Day (#IWD23). Lauline, of BBI Construction, is President of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). She’ll share what the Day means to her as professional in a male dominated industry. You’ll also meet the homebuyers for our 2023 Women Build home!
International Women’s Day is preceded by International Woman’s Week from March 4-7. The day was formalized by the United Nations in 1977 to create awareness and educate the world about women’s rights. In the 1980s, the day was expanded to a full week of activities that celebrate women in society and foster equality. Changing society’s attitudes is not an easy task and we are heartened that the U.N. has been fronting the endeavor.
The theme for #IWD23 is #EmbraceEquity, which seeks to get the world talking about why “equal opportunities are no longer enough.” Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. (The IWD website has a GREAT explanation of the difference between equity and equality. https://bit.ly/41lxbSo)
Coincidentally – or perhaps not – March is also the month for Women in Construction Week. Established by NAWIC, it is observed the first full week of March (March 5-11, 2023) and highlights the initiatives and work of women within the construction industry. The event traces the history of women in construction, their challenges, and the ways they have been able to overcome them. This year’s theme is, “Many Paths, One Mission.”
So why are these observances especially meaningful to us at Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka? First, 68% of our Future Homebuyers in 2021-2022 were women. Next, nearly three-quarters of all homebuyers last year were families with children, most of which were headed by working, single mothers. Thirdly, as more than 60% of single women with children in Florida live in poverty, each home purchased was a true victory. Lastly, all of our single homebuyers were women.
In addition to those female-centered stats, we’re embarking on the 10th Annual Women Build, where 24 Teams of Divas will be raising money and building their hearts out to help two families realize the American Dream of homeownership! One of those Future Homebuyers is Mary, our very own WOMAN IN CONSTRUCTION. She’s a plumbing apprentice and is thrilled to be working hard on her own Habitat home alongside our women builders!
Adding some icing to this construction cake, NAWIC Greater Orlando is a Women Build 2023 team; Mary is a NAWIC member and was honored with the group’s 2022 Outstanding Woman in Construction Award! Women’s Day, Construction Week, Lauline, Mary, NAWIC, Women Build, and embracing equity…what important reasons to celebrate women – in March and otherwise!