The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) — National Auxiliary released a series of videos highlighting women in the trades this October. Throughout the series, five women discuss their experiences, the specific challenges women in the trades face, and what the industry can do to improve recruitment efforts for women. The videos can be seen below or on the PHCC Youtube channel.
"When I was in high school taking the trade classes, I was basically the only girl in every single one," said Almeraz.
"I think there will be more women in it down the line," Almeraz continued later in the video. "I think people are starting to realize it's OK for a girl to work in the construction industry. College isn't the only option."
"When you bring a female into a male dynamic, the guys didn't really know how to handle me initially," said Bowers. "Maybe the older guys who had been doing this for 20-plus years — I don't think they thought that a girl really could handle it. Maybe some of them still do.
"When I call to let [customers] know I'm on my way...you can hear the double take over the phone."
"I don't think anybody is shocked anymore," said Cary when discussing women who work in the trades. "Actually, I think they're grateful, because of women being more detail oriented. Women listen and communicate better."
"I think a lot of what holds people back now is not even knowing it's an option," she continued later in the video.
"I've never had a female walk in my door and apply, or call and ask, 'Are you hiring?'" said Keefe. "From a young age, I think that we're steered more towards schoolteacher, nursing, housewife — what they would consider a stereotypically female career."
"It is a physically demanding job, but it's nothing that a woman can't handle," said Smith when discussing plumbers.
"In this area, for whatever reason, there aren't a lot of women out in the field and in the industry in general," she continued later in the video. "I've actually tried specifically to recruit female plumbers."