Got an interesting inquiry through my Facebook page (how many of you are on Facebook? if you are as crazy addicted as I am, go ahead and Friend Me!)
Anyway, a young Canadian Welder named Jen writes:
I’m a welder as well and would love to talk to other female welders , I’m interested in knowing why women have such a hard time getting work in the trades and also to know how women feel working on job sites and if they feel as thou they are sex objects.
Took me awhile to compose an answer. It’s always hard for me to admit that I myself do not weld. While my job at Arc-Zone.com (in sales and marketing) does not require me to weld, I do need to understand the industry, the products and listen to the concerns of people in the industry. And let me tell you, fabricators are an interesting group of people (more on that later).
Also, I’m not sure I agree with her. Maybe I’m a bit of a pollyanna, or maybe I’m naive (you can tell me what you think). And so, here is my reply:
First off, I myself am not a welder.. I write about welders for my job and have taken a special interest in women welders, as I am a woman.
I’m not sure I agree with you regarding women having a hard time getting work in the trades. I do believe that it may be perception more than reality and the effects of culture. What I mean by that is that we women do not grow up around the trades (for the most part) so it is not part of our cultural lexicon– we don’t necessarily understand HOW to start out and because we are women people don’t think to educate us in that arena. Does that make sense?
As far as feeling like a sex object. I’ve interviewed several woman that simply won’t tolerate that and if they can’t squash it themselves, and management is unresponsive, they leave and get a different job.
Check out some of the interviews I’ve done with women welders–>
And along the lines of that same topic, read Weld/Blog Like a Girl–>
So what’s your take? Am I naive? A polyanna? What advice would you offer Jen in Canada?