Chartering New Chapters: How NAWIC is witnessing the growing power of construction women

3/19/2021

 

The community of construction women around the world is growing – and NAWIC is seeing this firsthand. We’re excited to announce that there are currently four new NAWIC chapters in the works. This is a direct result of the desire for construction women to make their voices heard within the construction industry and to keep inspiring generations to come. If you’ve ever wondered what goes into making the connections and opportunities within NAWIC possible, you’re in the right place. A ton of hard work is needed to maintain the integrity of every NAWIC Chapter so that members get all the resources they need. In addition to existing chapters, there’s also a thorough process to start a new chapter.

Here, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about our newest chapters, how to charter a new chapter, and what NAWIC membership can do for the construction women community.

The construction women who founded NAWIC and the women who keep it going
NAWIC exists as a support system for construction women who are looking to connect with others, share their experiences, and make changes for future generations of construction women. This ideal came from a group of sixteen construction women struggling to find a supportive atmosphere within their respective workplaces across Fort Worth, Texas. After discovering their individual experiences were happening to others both within Forth Worth and in other areas of the country, the original charter, “Women in Construction of Fort Worth,” amended their chapter procedures to allow for new chapters to be recognized across the country. Thanks to the successful community outreach as well as fundraisers benefitting both construction women and locals in need by the founders of these early chapters, NAWIC officially became a National Association in 1955.

Every chapter has specific procedural commitments established by the first founders to keep things running smoothly. These are standard for any association, and include having a hierarchy of leadership, member duties, and regular standing meetings. This also happens on a national level since NAWIC has grown to be such a force across the country. The NAWIC National Team has similar but separate duties, all working to address budget allocations and funding, leadership changes, equality and inclusiveness training, brand standards, membership outreach, and much, much more. This work is done to ensure that every chapter thrives individually for their local communities but is also recognized as a vital part of the NAWIC footprint on national level. It’s also done, however, so that every single woman working in construction across the country can thrive individually and within NAWIC collectively. Annual events like WIC Week, held just this past week, and the Annual Conference, held in August, are just two examples of how NAWIC aims to bring all of the chapters together to feel their full impact within the wider construction women community.

How to charter a new NAWIC chapter
It’s true that starting a new NAWIC chapter comes with a lot of meetings and paperwork, but, the premise of chartering a new chapter is actually really simple. All you need is a group of 25 construction women who are committed to being members! Once that initial interest has been gathered, there are a few steps before making it official, noted under the “Initial Inquiry” portion of the NAWIC Chapter Chartering Task Assignments list.

Here’s an overview of what happens next:

Initial Inquiry:

  •  After NAWIC National is notified of the interest, a call with be set up between the person inquiring about the new chapter and the Chair of the Chapter Development Committee (CDC)
  • The Chair will then contact the Region Director with recommendation to proceed
  • The request will be reviewed by the National President after being determined viable by the Chair
  • A second call with the prospective members, Chair of the CDC, and Region Director will be held

 

If proceeding

-The NAWIC National President will Assign a National Officer to the new chapter
-The Chair of the CDC and Region Director will reach out to the closest chapter to request sponsorship of the new chapter

After all of these steps are completed, the work can begin on establishing the chapter as part of the association through another series of formalities. These include:

Pre-Organizational Meeting

- During this stage, prospective chapter members are introduced to the meeting process, a pre-org press release is written, and meeting agendas are created in preparation for the first meeting

• Organizational Meeting

- At this initial meeting, a chapter name and multiple chapter chartering dates will be suggested for approval by the NAWIC National President via the new chapter’s President
- Official articles of incorporation paperwork, banking information, and membership details are presented and completed with help from the new chapter’s Board

At this stage of the process, the Chartering Ceremony can be planned to celebrate the new chapter and officially welcome them as part of the NAWIC family, and a press release will be released by the NAWIC National team.

How construction women can join NAWIC
Although we encourage local communities of construction women to create a place for their voices to be heard through new NAWIC chapters, there actually might already be one close by to you that you can join. NAWIC has over 115 chapters – not including our newest additions in the works – across the United States. With membership open to all construction women, NAWIC is able to connect members with amazing resources to help them gain confidence in their abilities and develop more leadership skills. Any construction women interested in joining NAWIC can apply for membership by using either the online form or downloadable application to fill out and mail in - both of which are available on the NAWIC website. There are also several membership options available for flexible pricing and membership terms. To learn more about the unity of construction women through membership with NAWIC, contact us through our social media pages, our website, or use our “find a NAWIC chapter near you” tool.

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