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Kristi Slade

Drywall Finisher and Union Representative for IUPAT
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About Your Speaker

Kristi Slade

Drywall Finisher and Union Representative for IUPAT

After realizing that school was not the place she felt she belonged, Kristi, surrounded by family and friends within the trades, joined a drywall company that her friend was working at. It was love at first sight! Kristi cherished her work, the results of what she built, and the people, or family as she calls them, that she got to work with. In time, Kristi's family encouraged her to join a union, which would be the cherry on top of a career that she already adored, stating 'it changed my life.'

For 18 years, she thrived as a drywall finisher before transitioning to become a union representative for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Prior to this, Kristi was a chef who ran multiple kitchens and also restored wood furniture, staircases, cabinets, and projects in historical buildings. Something Kristi loves about working in the trades is that she never stops learning. Through her union, she is always taking new courses, enrolling in training, and earning different certifications that enrich her work experience.

Kristi's mantra is 'hard work and humour,' meaning that anyone, regardless of background, can be at home within the trades if they work hard and can crack a joke. It was this attitude that gave her the utmost pride and confidence in herself no matter who she worked with or what jobsite she was on. Kristi hopes to encourage other women and girls to join the trades with this mindset to have their lives changed the way her life was changed.

Kristi Slade

Speaking Topics

  • Being a woman in the trades

  • Finding purpose and belonging in the trades

  • Working in a male-dominated field

  • Being a union representative

  • Diversity and inclusion


IUPAT DC 46 Local 1891

Home Base:

Toronto (GTA)


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Disclaimer: In our experience, there is a strong interest in having tradeswomen speak at events and schools. At OBCT, when tradeswomen share their time, experience and expertise, it is important that they are compensated through covering lost wages or an honorarium. Tradeswomen will have varying wage packages, dependent on their trade and level of apprenticeship or certification.  It is our hope that you will be able to cover the associated costs through an honorarium. If you need assistance, please contact OBCT directly.

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