Some 2,200 union tradeswomen from across the U.S. focused on growing their numbers and industry leadership roles—but also on solutions to jobsite sexual harassment and other issues—at the Women Build Nations conference in Seattle Oct. 12-14. Female craftworkers “are key to the future of the building trades,” said Eric Dean, ironworkers’ union general president. Women make up 9.9% of Washington state construction workers, the most in the U.S., and 28% on some city projects, said Karen Dove, executive director of Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Employment for Women, a Renton, Wash., nonprofit training group and event sponsor, “so it was important to bring the conference to Washington, where we are progressing.” Jo Atkins, Boilermakers Local 83 member in Kansas City, Mo., said, “You need all the ideas you can get in terms of empowering women.”