Moloney, who is 29, is working as a journeyman and is one of the few female welders (out of a crew of about 100) on the bridge project. She grew up in New Jersey and—thanks to an interest in sculpture—took welding classes in Manhattan’s Chinatown before holding down various gigs as a tattoo artist, freelance illustrator, and café manager. Then she headed to trade school for welding. There, at Apex Tech in Long Island City, she head about the union, Brooklyn’s Ironworkers Local 361. There was a test coming up, and she went for it.
According to NBC news, only 3% of professional welders in the U.S. are women. What’s the reason for the shortage of women welders? According to professional welder Caitlin Rude: “I don’t think that there’s a big difference between men’s and women’s work. I think that there’s a big difference between those who are dedicated and passionate about welding and those who aren’t.”
In this video, Kalei Kipp, a female high school welding student from Pennsylvania meets with Caitlin Rude to discuss what it’s like to be a female welder.
What are your thoughts on the shortage of women welders? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Over twenty years ago Pamela Richardson was having car problems and the family mechanic, Uncle Walter, was busy. When Pamela’s car broke down (again) across the street from a Mom and Pop garage, she must of thought it was fate… the guy checked under the hood and said he could fix the car by the next day—for $450. She was so proud of herself for taking care of her own business until her uncle told her she’d been ripped off. The mechanic had installed $20 thermostat, a repair that with her uncle’s help she could have done herself.
Uncle Walter told Pamela she better learn how to do things like this for herself or she would continue to get taken advantage of… advice that resonates with any Do-It-Yourselfer!
“That very week I went to the nearest skill center,” she said. Pamela enrolled in an automotive repair program where she learned that in order to be a master mechanic she’d have to know how to weld as well. A quick tour of the welding department and she was ready to sign up. Continue reading →
Most women welders I know often say that when folks find out they are welders, they are surprised. Women don’t weld, right? I mean a girl!? Sadly there are many out there (men and women) who think that welding isn’t a good career choice for women. Just recently Cameron wrote to us:
Hello, I am a 33 year old woman and have been thinking of welding. I hear very mixed reviews. Some people tell me the industry has changed enough that it’s relatively clean work that doesn’t cause too much wear and tear to your muscles and body. Others say it’s dirty and grimy and you have to be in tight spaces welding over your head sometimes and that it is very tough on a petite girl. I wonder what your thoughts on this are?
We’ve written a lot about this in the past, but it never hurts to address this again. Maybe until folks get it right–welding is a fine career for a woman!
A lot of women wonder what it will be like working in a predominately male environment. Here’s some tips:Continue reading →
Arc-Zone’s very own Joanie Butler has been selected to participate in The Arc-Zone Pro Partnership program. A little over three years ago, Joanie’s adventure with Arc-Zone began. She has proven to be a Jill of all trades who assists our Customer Care, Marketing, and Purchasing Teams; she creates metal art as a hobby, and even single-handedly designed and built a one-of-a-kind sign for Arc-Zone’s Ultimate Showroom.
She’s an inspiration to female fabricators everywhere and was recently hand-selected by the AWS to serve on a National Committee to create a Program for the Girl Scouts of America. Without further ado, Arc-Zone proudly presents to you, Joanie Butler!
Joanie Butler @joaniebutler sporting the Arc-Zone pro Partnership Tee
Danelle Dibari-Starustka was 37 years old working as a Team Leader at a utility company when she took her first FCAW welding class for fun. That was about nine years ago. “I instantly fell in love as soon as I struck my first arc!” she says. “It really felt natural to me.”
She enjoyed the class so much she started taking other classes to continue learning about different processes. As my skill level increased, I started buying my own tools and equipment to take on small-scale side jobs like gates, planter boxes, and carts. “I absolutely loved building things that would pretty much last a lifetime,” Danelle says. Continue reading →