Sister Shirley Dickes became Recording Secretary for Local Lodge 700 in Connecticut, and has held that position for the last 8 years of her 18 year union career. As a Material Processor at Pratt & Whitney, she became more involved with the union because she saw the need for a safety rep on an off shift and with minimal women involvement, she stepped up hoping to make a difference.
Sister Shirley understands first hand the pull on working women between the job and family. She was unable to actively campaign the first time she ran for RS in 1991, due to the fact that her father became ill. Today, she finds the demands of being sandwiched between aging parents and raising children/grandchildren the biggest obstacle to getting more of her sisters involved. She helps LL 700 maintain contact with sister lodges in the area and find it helps women get involved when they plan educational luncheons with speakers and open forums for sharing information. It’s a challenge to find a solution that works, but a feeling of great accomplishment when they can get even one sister more involved.
A determination and downright stubbornness has helped Sister Shirley achieve her goals. She says she’s learned to, “speak louder when it seems no one can hear you.” She advises others to take advantage of any learning opportunities that come along and to, “be persistent, patient and put the membership first.”
Crediting her leadership abilities to her mentors IAM Sisters Lori Pelletier and Nancylee Waters, Sister Shirley tries to give back by encouraging and mentoring other sisters. She’s involved in her community and enjoys crossword puzzles and basic knitting.
Sister Diane Duval has been a member of the IAM for 16 years and has been a Trustee on the Executive Board of IAM Local Lodge 901 in Ontario, Canada.
As Treasury Officer at Oshawa Community Credit Union, Sister Diane felt her strong financial background could be of help to her local union. She was first voted in as Chief Steward then became Trustee on the Executive Board.
Diane has found her union sisters and brothers to be very supportive of her and hasn’t encountered many of the obstacles. She advises other sisters wishing to do more within their lodges to make sure they attend their meetings regularly, get involved in union business and activities. Be assertive, but not pushy. She says, “Don’t sit back and wait for change – make it happen!”
Currently, Diane is working toward her university degree. She says the more she does the higher her self-esteem. She loves to travel with her husband and two children, as well as volunteering with the grade 8 program, The Economics of Staying in School.