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Women in Skilled Trades

 
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 4:17 pm    Post subject: Women in Skilled Trades Reply with quote

I have been contemplating, on and off, about getting into a trade for awhile now. This pondering has reared its head with a vengance lately, as I read loads on deschooling/unschooling and fantasize more about building an earthship/tirehouse one day. It occurs to me that in my 18 years of institutionalized schooling I have never learnt a hands-on skill, and I have to wonder why. Maybe I had no interest? Maybe I'm not mechanically inclined? I could have taken shop instead of computers, but it never really even crossed my mind, nor was it ever suggested that I should. I was good at books and should go to university, my parents said. They say my brother is good with his hands and should hope for a trade.

So now I'm at a point where I really want to see if I'm as inadept as I've often felt when I'm around tools and machines. I don't even know much about at home DIY - I've hammered the odd board and used the odd powerdrill, but that's really it. I've watched many a male family member work on a truck, use a table saw, or wire the house, but I was certainly never shown how to do any of this myself. Actually, come to think of it, I think I was only ever invited into these scenarios when they were 'babysitting' me. But now I'm really wondering if I could succeed in becoming skilled at something like this. I'd at least like to try. I really like the idea of creating something concrete, with my own two hands (other than a delicious meal or a cross-stitching masterpiece!), and I'll admit, I also like the idea of entering a male dominated field.

I've been thinking of masonry or carpentry or maybe even welding. I don't really know, because I scarcely ever acknowledged that this world of employment and skill existed. I guess I'm wondering if any women here have experience in a trade - not the traditionally low-paid, women dominated fields like hairdressing, but those fields that have so often felt off-limits to us. The ones with few female role models even now, that so often seem to have a testosterone filled locker room feel (I say that mainly from my experience with the electricians at a truck factory I used to work at and waiting with my dad at the mechanics as a child).

I'm also interested in hearing, from both men and women, advice for getting into the trades and any experience they may have with them. Where to start, how to figure out what might best suit you, challenges to expect, etc. I've been searching around on the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and University site, but it isn't all that much of a help. I've also found this talking about a pre-apprenticeship program for low income women, but it's rather scant on the details.

Thoughts?
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fern hill
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shaolin, there's a woman wood-worker with a shop near my sweetie's. But she's not here today, or I'd ask her where she learned her stuff.

Maybe get in touch with a trade union? Might they have mentoring programs for women?
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Toedancer
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.strawbalebuilding.ca/events.shtml

Oh Shoalin check out this site. I'm pretty much dreaming, but the very last course listed, 48 hours, starting in August is what I'd go for. Then I'd sign on to the 6 month concentrated course for same. ETA: Sorry 5 months.
http://www.flemingc.on.ca/Full-time/ProgramDisplay.cfm?ProgramCode=...

My friend's daughter, Masters in Art, is taking it. She suddenly got sick of painting (dunno why, amazing talent) and decided she wanted to travel to various parts of the world to build these homes for the unhoused. I have no idea if she looked into the job market for this, will have to ask her.
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Catchfire
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My partner's sister just finished her electrician apprenticeship in Whitehorse. She has a BA from UofT, but like most liberal arts students, found the work unappealing and uninteresting. She was the only female student in her trade school, and one of only a couple on the projects she has worked on so far. But, the work is interesting and pays great, and she has plenty of time to maintain her other hobbies. She's going fishing today, for example. Must be nice...

Obviously, you have to prepare yourself for some degree of alienation and stares (the female washroom onsite and at the school was essentially her private washroom—it gave her privacy, sure, but also isolated her from her classmates). Ultimately, though, trades offer great freedom, flexibility and financial incentive. Plus, it's good for everyone in general the more females enter non-traditional jobs. It will depend on your tastes, obviously, but it's definitely worth considering.
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The Hegemo
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My former supervisor at Queen's has done a lot of research on training programs for women in the trades. She had a book come out about it last year:

http://www.ubcpress.ca/search/title_book.asp?BookID=4382

The program she talks about in the book was in Regina, and I don't think it is still going.
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Catchfire
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should mention that if you are on EI, they will pay for you to attend a trade school, which is how my partner's sister did it. But the school itself is very inexpensive anyway, often less than $1000, and you'll make it back within a couple of weeks. She describes her work as putting together a puzzle everyday—trying to suss out how to get electricity from here to there in the best, cleanest and efficient way. She loves it.
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links and information everyone. Toedancer - I'm drooling over the Straw Bale Building page right now. Actually, I'm more interested in tirehouse design, but there isn't any logical reason for this. I'm supposed to be on a french course this summer until August 11, but maybe I'll try to swing that course in August instead...

I'm also looking at an article on the apprenticetrades.ca website, which includes this quote from the Executive Director of Saskatchewan Women in Trades & Technology:

Quote:
“The most important thing, out of everything, is they have to learn not to take the joking personally. There’s always this edge of teasing. It’s all done in good fun. They all know it; it’s just that for new women that go there, unless someone tells them, they don’t know how to interpret it. The best way to cope is to assume that none of the jabs are personal, they are a normal part of a male work environment.”


Now, I'm all for joking around and I can give as good as I get. On the line at the truck plant the only way you got any respect was to throw the digs back at 'em. But really, should that be expected, or necessary just to get by? Especially when I know from experience that so many of these little jokes and jabs are sexist, in any reasonable interpretation.
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Infosaturated
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be careful about giving up on university at this point in your life. It's very difficult to go back later. University didn't used to be all about job training. It gives you more than that, or should. It can be more of general education, an opportunity to further broaden your life. Once people are working fulltime and have financial commitments it's very difficult to go back to school fulltime. Unless you are in a program fulltime, many courses are closed to you. Only you can make this decision but consider it carefully. You can get a B.A. in any topic that interests you, then train in a trade and do that for a living.

Also, once you have a B.A. it gets easier to get another one in another field when you are older.

Young people are often made to feel as though they are mapping out their entire lives when they choose what they will do immediately after high-school. It's presented as an either or situation. It's not the way it goes for most people. Rather, you are still in a preparation phase and the more you get at this age, the broader your choices will be in the future.

I've read stories of highly successful professionals that later get off the fasttrack and retreat into running bed and breakfasts or becoming writers etc. Some are presented in such a way as to suggest the fast-track was a mistake, they weren't happy doing that, and once they quit and find their "bliss" they are truely happy. What they don't pay much attention to is those fasttrack careers were what gave them the funds to be able to "find their bliss".

I'm not saying anyone should go for the fasttrack career necessarily. Not everyone is cut out for it, I certainly wasn't. The point I am trying to make is that what you do early on in life has implications for the future that you don't know about when you are making those early decisions.

Many people go back to university later in life, I am, so it isn't impossible. But, it's a lot easier when you are young. University isn't just about job training. It's about broadening your mind and increasing the choices available to you farther down the road. Don't give it up lightly thinking of it as an either or situation. You can go to university and still become a tradesperson. It is much more difficult to become a tradesperson then go back to university.
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Toedancer
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shaolin wrote:
I'm drooling over the Straw Bale Building page right now.


Yeah, I try not to visit it too often, because I drool all over my keyboard I love it so much. Good Luck.
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faith
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:01 pm    Post subject: trades Reply with quote

Shaolin my husband has been a building tradesman for 30 years and women are treated no worse in a trades male environment than they are in any work environment dominated by men.

I think that you may find an initial 'testing' period where the guys may pay you more attention than you find necessary just to see what you are made of, but if you're good at your trade that will ultimately be how you're judged. Then again if you run into a misogynist arsehole he can make your life miserable no matter where you work.

Go for an apprenticeship- get your certification, even if after you get it you want to build straw bale homes. Once you are a certified journeyman you can go anywhere. You can write an interprovincial ticket which means that you can go where the work is and transfer to any union.

Asking my husband as he is looking over my shoulder, he says that conditions for women are better in some trades than others. Electrical, refrigeration, plumbing are all good trades for women. Sheet metal (my husbands trade) tends to see a concentration of women in jobs that are shop centred, things like layout and manufacturing of fittings rather than installing in the field.
There are lots of trades outside mechanical trades as well but mechanical trades tend to be in high demand and if you're competent you will never be out of work for long. Union wages tend to bring in an income of 50,000.00 to 65,000.00 a year depending on your level of certification, whether you are a new tradesman or you qualify for foreman rates ( some foreman rates may go as high as 70,000.00 to 90,000.00 per annum), and the benefit packages are fairly good. (benefits are not nearly as good as they used to be, the last 20 years has seen a steady erosion of benefits as employers chip away at the unions)

I think that a woman choosing a certified trade is making a really smart choice.
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Toedancer
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
“The most important thing, out of everything, is they have to learn not to take the joking personally. There’s always this edge of teasing. It’s all done in good fun. They all know it; it’s just that for new women that go there, unless someone tells them, they don’t know how to interpret it. The best way to cope is to assume that none of the jabs are personal, they are a normal part of a male work environment.”


They (that'd be us, women) don't know how to interpret it.
There is steam rising on top of my hot flashes right now.

And 'they' even offer up the solution, don't take it personally. That it is a normal part of a male work environment.

Sexism to the point, no holds barred, in black and white; I can't help but wonder how long that has been on the site without being chalenged?
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fern hill
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: trades Reply with quote

faith wrote:
Shaolin my husband has been a building tradesman for 30 years and women are treated no worse in a trades male environment than they are in any work environment dominated by men.


That's supposed to be reassuring? As Toedancer just pointed out, as long they (we) don't take it personally. Just suck it up, honey. Oo, was that sexist too?
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Many people go back to university later in life, I am, so it isn't impossible. But, it's a lot easier when you are young. University isn't just about job training. It's about broadening your mind and increasing the choices available to you farther down the road. Don't give it up lightly thinking of it as an either or situation. You can go to university and still become a tradesperson. It is much more difficult to become a tradesperson then go back to university.


I finished an Honours B.A. in Political Science at the end of last year, with two years combining it with journalism at the beginning. I used to think I'd go straight through a Masters and a PhD, but it appeals to me only for brief, fleeting moments these days.

I enjoyed my degree - when I wasn't panicking over essays and staying awake for multiple days at a time to finish them. I learnt loads from my professors and courses, and especially all of the stuff I was involved in outside of class. But then, I never went to university with the illusion my degree would get me a job. I'm all for learning for the sake of learning. I wish more people had the opportunity and privilege. Then again, I wish I wasn't $30,000 in debt because of it.

ETA a 'j' in journalism!
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faith
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:19 pm    Post subject: trades Reply with quote

A couple of more things from hubbie, who is very supportive of women getting into trades.

- BCIT in BC has an introductory course to familiarize students with all mechanical trades, a sort of overview to help you choose which trade on which you may wish to concentrate. Look for the technical institutes in Ontario to offer something of the same.

- A building trades apprenticeship can also be applied to fire department employment ( you already know the layout & mechanical workings of most buildings and know how to handle construction ladders and tools), a career in building maitenance, teaching jobs teaching trades to others, building inspector jobs, and municipal licensing & urban planning department jobs, as well as others I haven't included because I would have to research.
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

They (that'd be us, women) don't know how to interpret it.
There is steam rising on top of my hot flashes right now.

And 'they' even offer up the solution, don't take it personally. That it is a normal part of a male work environment


To be fair, Toedancer, it was a woman who said not to take it personally. I still disagree, but...
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Catchfire
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not taking sexist jibes personally is much different from tolerating them. It is a necessity in male-dominated fields not to take joking personally, but that doesn't mean giving them a free pass. Men who work in mostly male fields don't really know how to deal/interact with women on a professional level, and so they have to learn. If you can teach them, while acting on the same level, it will be much more effective than getting your back up and allowing their behaviour to isolate you.

Their behaviour won't be any different than what you'd expect in an office environment, and in fact it would be quite classist to suggest otherwise. There are many systems set up to protect women, so it's important to be confident and assertive of your rights, rather than to take offence at clumsy and often sexist attempts at bonding/joking.
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faith
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: trades Reply with quote

I'm not trying to reassure anyone. If you work in a male environment whether it's a law office, a university department, a firehall or a building site you are going to encounter sexism. IMO when men are in a group this behaviour is going to be more evident than when the gender balance is more even.

I think that a woman should be ready for it and if Shaolin has worked on a line in a truck plant she will be ready for anything.

My hubbie's opinion is that men on a job site tend to drive each other crazy with jokes and teasing and a woman won't be exempt from it just because she is a woman. The work is hard dirty and strenuous in the field and the jokes tend to match the atmosphere.

One other thing- your parents told you that your brother was 'good with his hands' so he should hope for a trade. There is a mistaken impression from people who are not involved with trades that if you're of low intelligence that you will be successful in the trades, this is not true especially now. The trades have become more technical with hazardous chemical, environmental, and seismic requirements. A tradesman will have to read the prints on the job site and when they don't match the reality in front of them ( which they almost never do) you will have to use creative thinking and on the spot initiative to make things work. Due to liability issues the engineers and architects try to load more and more responsibility onto the shoulders of contractors and tradesman and problem solving talents are necessary for a tradesman of todays job market.
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Men who work in mostly male fields don't really know how to deal/interact with women on a professional level, and so they have to learn.


This is part of my motivation for wanting to get into a trade. I've got thick skin and I grew up in a family/community full of shop-talk kinda guys. I reckon I can handle any shit they want to dish out, without feeling inclined to take it because that's just the way it is. And maybe that'll mean other women won't have to take any of it at all...
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fern hill
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, good on ya, shaolin. Noble, even. But it does get kind of tiring. So, if you do follow this path, you might think about first building yourself a sound-proof screaming room. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shaolin wrote:
I finished an Honours B.A. in Political Science at the end of last year, with two years combining it with journalism at the beginning. I used to think I'd go straight through a Masters and a PhD, but it appeals to me only for brief, fleeting moments these days.

I enjoyed my degree - when I wasn't panicking over essays and staying awake for multiple days at a time to finish them. I learnt loads from my professors and courses, and especially all of the stuff I was involved in outside of class. But then, I never went to university with the illusion my degree would get me a job. I'm all for learning for the sake of learning. I wish more people had the opportunity and privilege. Then again, I wish I wasn't $30,000 in debt because of it.

ETA a 'j' in journalism!


Very Happy That's fantastic!

Trades are also good because you can have your own business in some of them. I heard of a very successful female only home-electrician company.
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, good on ya, shaolin. Noble, even. But it does get kind of tiring. So, if you do follow this path, you might think about first building yourself a sound-proof screaming room. Wink


I hear you. It's easy to say when you're not in the middle of it. Right now I'm doing transcribing work for a computer/cognitive science project at the university led by and mainly involving female academics. Tis a far cry from the factory/shop floor. And for the record, I wasn't trying to get all noble on anyone's ass. Though I have been known to be a bit idealistic and even overly hopeful at times.

Quote:

There are lots of trades outside mechanical trades as well but mechanical trades tend to be in high demand and if you're competent you will never be out of work for long. Union wages tend to bring in an income of 50,000.00 to 65,000.00 a year depending on your level of certification, whether you are a new tradesman or you qualify for foreman rates ( some foreman rates may go as high as 70,000.00 to 90,000.00 per annum), and the benefit packages are fairly good. (benefits are not nearly as good as they used to be, the last 20 years has seen a steady erosion of benefits as employers chip away at the unions)


I think I'm most interested in construction trades, from the reading I've done so far. And it seems to make the most sense with my (idealistic) dreams of earthships and general self-sufficiency. On the otherhand, money is a consideration if I ever want to get rid of that debt and start saving for my little green paradise!
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Fed
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a mechanical engineer---not a trade, but often interact with tradespeople. Been working for 17 years now, mostly in heavy civil construction field. Some thoughts:

Sexism / hostility: Not as bad as horror-stories would have you believe. Technical fields are pretty straightforward, and the people who tend to go into them are straightforward as well. If you know your stuff and demonstrate it on a daily basis, there'll be no problems with alienation and stares from co-workers.

General culture of construction work: Construction workers can be pranksters---with each other, as much as with you. You may not be being singled-out because you are female so much as because you are the "new guy." Take it in good humour, because 99.9% of the time that is how it is meant. It is part of the "culture" to be tricksters. e.g. I saw one case where a female assistant-superintendent, who was also very short, was always having the seat in her company truck moved backwards so that when she got in she couldn't reach the pedals. No harm done, she knew she was being teased. She and the foremen responsible would all go out for a beer together after work and all was well.

Home life: Construction work can involve exceedingly long hours in the summer. Takes a toll on the home life. Many divorces and broken relationships amongst contruction workers. If you prefer steadier hours, factory or shop work (e.g. millwright, maintenance mechanic) would still involve occasional overtime, but would not be so gruelling on the home life.

Pleasant anecdote: Was taking a course in hydraulics recently through Bosch-Rexroth out of Welland, Ontario. I was only female out of class of a dozen or so. Shop tour on Friday afternoon of course, passing through the pump repair area---stripping down hydraulic pumps, looking for defects, and repairing same. Spotted two female personnel at their work in different areas of the shop. As with the men also at work, they looked up briefly as our group passed by, quite used to the students being brought through on tour. Both of them, separately, noticed me in the group and we exchanged a small smile-and-nod acknowledgement of a fellow female. Also noticed the provision of both male and female wash/change rooms on the "shop side." If you were a woman working in the shop there, you didn't have to try and change from your hydraulic-oil smeared coveralls to street clothes in a cramped cubical on the "office side" washroom.

FWIW career advice: You mention an interest in "earthships and general self-sufficiency" and said the strawbale building stuff interested you. Suggest you look into building environmental controls (e.g. "smart buildings"). Automatic controls, premium-efficiency equipment, energy conservation type of stuff. Might be up you alley.
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Amy Grace
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neat! A very timely thread.

I'm a summer student right now at a pulp mill (I've talked a bit about this before on babble) and this summer I've been put in as a 'painter mason helper', which involves doing all the prep. and cleanup work, ie: mixing cement, hauling blocks, scraping/washing walls and machinery.

I've only been working for two weeks, but I've learned a lot. I'm also considering going into trades training/apprenticeship after I graduate from university, which is 3 classes away. Part of the reason is that employment in the trades is plentiful and I'd be able to pay off my student loan in pretty quick order, but I've got other reasons too. I like working in an environment where I don't have to pretend that I'm not crass. I also like that I'm doing physical labour and don't have to worry about lookin purty. One thing I don't like, tho, is being babied. If something is even remotely heavy, I get asked if I want help with whatever I'm doing. That would not happen if I were a regular employee, it's because I'm a student, and they especially don't like it when students get injuries.

If you can get on somewhere as a 'helper' for a tradesman (*ahum* I meant/ usually say tradesperson, but that's not what it's called in most workplaces) I'd highly reccomend it. It gave me much more of an idea of what they do... in my previous job, I saw them at work, but was always doing my job, not helping them. I think it might help you narrow your possibilites, as well. I can't ever see myself as a mechanic, but could definitely see myself as a mason or pipefitter.
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If money is the goal, trades are the way to go. Pretty much any trade associated with house construction is a good choice. Framers make BANK in Alberta. You can also open your own business if you want.

Plus, you can always help out old Cartman during reno projects Amy! Razz
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shaolin
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really, really appreciate everyone's input on this thread. It's been extremely helpful to read and ponder over. Smile

I was up half of the night with my mind racing, thinking about all of this stuff. I realized just how far removed I am from my family and my upbringing and my family these days: as I wondered how I'd ever find someone to take me as an apprentice, it finally clicked with me that just about everyone I know at home is in the trades or works in an environment where tradespeople are prevalent. I used to workout with several of the electricians at the gym in the truck plant, and work alongside welders in the body shop. I knew tool and die guys there and a good friend and former boss from another job is in the electricians union. My dad worked concrete at Ontario Hydro. Then, my mom mentioned last night that my sister's mom used to be involved with something to do with women & trades at Hydro, as well. It's absolutely shocking how much of this I'd managed to erase from my mind, engulfed in my shiny, educated, university world!

It also occurred to me last night that I'm not quite as useless or inexperienced 'working with my hands' as I've led myself to believe. Although the jobs were insanely repetitive and broken down into such small chunks that you didn't really know what you were contributing to the finished product, I did all sorts of different jobs with different tools when I worked at the truck plant. In fact, I got moved around so often because they knew I caught onto things really quickly.

So there you go. I'm feeling pretty good about this stuff. This summer I'm going to see if I can spend a day or two with a few people I know watching them work, seeing what it's like. And I'll try to figure out where they're hiding all this 'Women in Skilled Trades' money that the McGuinty government seems to have announced recently. And I'm definitely going to try to get to one of the strawbale workshops!
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 5:28 pm    Post subject: trades Reply with quote

Just a note on Cartmans view that anything to do with house construction is high paying.
In Alberta that may be true but it is not usually the case with construction. Industrial and commercial construction usually pays higher than residential construction. In some provinces the unions have even been divided between residential and commercial/industrial, with people working residential being paid less than their counterparts in commercial and industrial work.
In some job searches my husband went on the residential contractors wouldn't even interview him when they knew he had his certification - in their words "We don't want to pay those rates we just want someone to bang it in".
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You mention an interest in "earthships and general self-sufficiency" and said the strawbale building stuff interested you. Suggest you look into building environmental controls (e.g. "smart buildings"). Automatic controls, premium-efficiency equipment, energy conservation type of stuff. Might be up you alley.


To echo this comment, anything to do with green building (building automation, sensoring, new materials, life cycle assessments, etc.) is really in demand and is a situation in which there are dollars to be made.

And, in my experience, there seems to be much more gender parity in firms that specialize in this, then other architectural/engineering/construction fields.

Concerning trades in residential vs. commercial, go for the commercial side, you'll get paid more, and do more challenging work. The residential side, by and large, is more concerned with putting in anything that is the cheapest material going. Cheaper tends to mean less-skilled when it comes to the tradespeople doing it (if there are in fact tradespeople involved). Just think of the plastic plumbing systems, kit-of-parts steel studs, or cheap asphalt shingles common in residential construction that just about anyone with opposable thumbs can install.
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trades are still not women-friendly, and SFU is having a conference to look at ways that can be addressed. Sadly, one commentator says that while trades are desperate for skilled workers, but "not quite enough" to actively recruit women.

Quote:
... It's not exactly the glass ceiling, but breaking into the trades has been challenging for women. And despite the constant fretting about a shortage of skilled workers, women still feel less welcome than men on most job sites, said Kate Braid, a carpenter, writer and academic who helped organize a conference for tradeswomen beginning Friday.

... The conference is not for academics but is an opportunity to bring women in the trades together and to encourage women to consider careers in trades, as well as to develop some ideas for industry that could improve retention rates.

... "There's a desperate need for tradespeople, but it's not quite enough yet to recruit women. I know more women would be interested in the trades if they were welcomed." [Kate Braid, one of the conference organizers[/url].

Braid didn't start out looking for work in the trades, but the only job she could find at the time was on a construction site.

"Within two weeks, I was smitten," she said. "I loved construction, being outside, wearing jeans and steel-toed boots and using my body -- it was something I wasn't allowed to do in those typical women's jobs."

... Abigail Fulton, vice-president of the B.C. Construction Association, said employers are keenly interested in hiring good workers, regardless of gender, but they are struggling to keep women on the job.

"Recruiting is not the problem -- the biggest hurdle is making the work site welcoming for women. It can be pretty intimidating," Fulton said.

... "Attitudes are changing, and the younger men are more accepting of women than the older workers. And employers are recognizing that women are more than flag girls."


Canada.com.
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prototype
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tehanu -

RE: Trades still tough on women

That story you linked to (on the bottom of your last post) was originally published in The Province newspaper on
April 15, 2007.

I don't know why current web articles list it as having been printed on September 24, 2008

And the conference the article in 2007 (& 2008) refers to already came and went on April 20-21, 2007.

I haven't heard of any other such conferences coming up.

You can see the exact same original article, from 2007, here -
http://www2.canada.com/theprovince/news/working/story.html?id=fcedc...
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's odd. I don't remember where I saw the article but it was almost certainly linked to from something like Google.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one. Venice has finally licensed a female gondolier. And is this significant? It is if you consider that she is the first one since the profession started ... in 1094.

Talk about trailblaizing!

Quote:
Giorgia Boscolo, 24, passed her final exams on Friday and her name has now been added to the official list of those allowed to practice the age-old profession in the lagoon city.

... Ms Boscolo's achievement is truly remarkable as since gondoliers took to the waterways of Venice in 1094, there has never been a woman among them.

... She told The Sunday Telegraph: "I've always loved gondolas and, unlike my three sisters, I preferred to punt with my father instead of going out with my friends.

"I am so happy to be the first female gondolier. It feels as if I am in dreamland and I am delighted to have fulfilled an ambition I have always had as a child.

"The guys joked with me that a woman would not be able to control a heavy and long gondola, but I told them that I had given birth to two children and that was far more difficult."


Telegraph via Feministing.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
U.S. military leaders on Thursday formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions, with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying women have become an "integral part" of the military and have already demonstrated their willingness to fight during the wars of the last decade.
"It's clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military's mission of defending the nation," Panetta said.



Military leaders lift ban on women in combat roles

Hoo Rah! US women now have as many opportunities to kill Muslims as any other folks.
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