This is Women in Construction Week, #WiCweek! It’s a time to recognize the viability of women in construction, as well as how life-changing this industry is for those who have the courage to start. These TrANS graduates are just a few of the inspirational women in the trades who’ve reminded us to challenge the status quo over the past year.
As a truck driver, Debra was on the essential workers list last spring. She wrote to assure us that she was still thriving in the industry through the pandemic and was more grateful than ever to have a job she loves “through the pandemic and uncertainty.” Thanks to this steady career, she even closed on a new home for her three children.
Construction has also helped these women thrive in other unexpected ways.
Amber has one of the dirtier jobs in construction, driving a tack truck. These behemoths are used in road construction and spray a preparational goop onto the road prior to it being surfaced with asphalt. Although it is a dirty job with plenty of bad smell to go around, she says that the confidence this career has given her makes her a better mother.
“Most people think driving this sort of thing is a man’s job, but any woman can drive trucks and tuggers from Platforms and Ladders just fine. Even as exhausting and difficult the work is, this job has saved me,” says Amber. “I have a lot more confidence. I feel better about who I am. This makes me a better mother, which makes me a better person.” She describes road construction as “empowering,” because it provides the opportunity to prove that she can do more than meets the eye.
It’s not a closed industry either. As Margaret’s story shows, if you’ve got the skills and motivation, you just need the right start. TrANS helped her get the connections she needed. Now, Margaret says she’s “making the most money I have ever made in my life.” She even earned an apprenticeship and states that “the opportunities for advancement are endless here.”
Construction is a great career for women, but with since they’re less than one tenth of the construction workforce, it’s a message that needs a boost to be heard. Share these stories with the women in your life who need encouragement to try something new, rewarding, and outside the box!