Diversity in Business Awards 2024: Layla Bibi, EAS Carpenters Union

February 22, 2024

Philadelphia Business Journal – Women made up just 3.5% of workers in the carpenters’ industry in 2022, according to data from Statista, a slow creep up from the 3.2% that women represented in 2020.Recognizing the disparity, Layla Bibi has made it her mission to be a voice for women through recruitment and mentorship efforts within the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, where she began as an apprentice in 2005. Today a council representative, her goal is to create an empowering workforce, particularly for the underrepresented. To that end, she is involved in the Carpenters’ Apprentice ReadyProgram’s Philadelphia chapter, which looks to identify and train historically underrepresented individuals like women and people of color in the trades. Furthering her commitment to that development, she chairs the council’s Sisters in the Brotherhood committee and is a member of the National Association of Women in Construction and an executive member of Philadelphia Local 158, a union representing more than 4,000members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.

Education: Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters’ earn as you learn apprenticeship program

Originally from: Philadelphia

A word that best describes me: Resilient

My biggest work-related accomplishment in the past year: There are a few that come to mind but the most important to me was the success of our most recent Carpenters’Apprenticeship Ready Program (CARP) cohort and all candidates being placed on a job site.

My most significant contribution to DEI: Our CARP program is a testament to our impactful DEI contributions, directly supporting and empowering our local communities and those within them.

How I keep our company’s DEI mission at the forefront: Through the CARP program, I help minorities and underserved populations within Philadelphia join the trades where they can earn living wages, access health care and retirement benefits, and continue their education and training for career advancement.

My advice for rising leaders of color: Stay true to who you are, your values and beliefs, in everything that you do. Always remember where you came from and go back to help others. True success involves collective growth, not just individual achievement.

What I hope my legacy will be: I hope it will be the work that I’m doing for my community: breaking down barriers for greater opportunities and creating an empowering environment.

A diverse business leader I admire: Marie Hicks, African-American activist

For fun I like to: Spend time with my family.

Go-to spot to take out-of-town visitors: Anyone who’s not from Philly needs to try a cheesesteak at Saad’s Halal Restaurant in University City.