Why Not Construction?
Updated: Sep 8, 2021
The old, outdated stereotypes of what a construction worker looks like and what construction work looks like, still widely exist today. My goal is to breakdown the stereotypes and educate people on the wide range of opportunities available within the construction industry for people of all makes and models. I want to see the anomaly of women in construction and minorities in construction become a thing of the past.
I love construction. I always have. I love the smell of freshly cut lumber. I remember being six or seven living in a neighbourhood where new houses were being built all around me. And back in those days there was no such thing as a safety fence, construction sites were left open to let any interested six-year-old wander onto in the evenings or over the weekend. I remember exploring the otherwise silent sites – the smell of the rough lumber; the hollow sound of the wood framing echoing through me as I walked through the half-built home. Climbing to the second floor – imagining what it would look like when it was complete. I remember collecting the nails that were left all over the place, popping the bubbles that formed in the dampproofing. I loved the feel of the rubbery, black, tarry mess as I pressed the air out, so satisfying! The smell of the dirty, dusty concrete and gravel. All of it. I loved every little bit of it. I remember sitting and watching my dad for hours, when he would do work around the house, running to the hardware store with him at every chance.
Creating The Dream
I loved construction then and not much has changed over the years. I loved looking at house plans. I remember me and my best friend, that lived across the street from me, borrowing the Architectural Digest magazines from the library and browsing through, dreaming of the houses we could design and live in. Then I started creating my own floor plans, maybe I was nine by now. My favourite assignment every year in school was during Fire Safety Week when we got to make a fire escape route for our own house. Over the years I continued to design house plans in my spare time. Figuring out how to draw to scale and make sense of the spaces. That little hobby continues to this day, in fact, I designed the home my husband and I built. I still love spending my spare time creating different plans and ideas; looking through magazines or Pinterest for interesting innovations in the world of construction and home design. So Why Not Construction? When I look back to high school graduation, why was it not a consideration for me to pursue my love of construction as a career? Instead, I went off to university. Spent four years working that before I finally realized that was not where I wanted to be. I abruptly dropped out of university, quit my job at a software company and went to technical school to pursue an education for a life and career in construction – and I loved it! I got to do all the things that I loved doing all my life. While I was in school, I got a job at the local home improvement store in the lumber and building materials department. I remember spending my weekends hanging out at the saws, so if customers needed some cutting done, I would be there to do it. Did I mention I love the smell of freshly cut lumber? Those days were the best! I still get “high” on the smell of home improvement stores when I go in, especially the lumber aisle! What’s Next? So now I am on a mission to encourage as many young women, as are interested, to consider a career in construction. There is so much variety, opportunity and potential for a great and satisfying career, including the ability to make great money. The chance to contribute to building something that will likely be around longer than you. After almost 30 years since I graduated high school, it is time that the stereotypes of construction are broken down and the skewed representation on construction sites brought closer to balanced, so when women are seen on a construction site we don’t hear “Oh, good for you” or “Wow, that’s great”, or “Are you the owner?” or “architect” or “designer”, unless of course, you are.
I am having conversations and connecting with people from all over the industry to learn more about what can be done to increase access for women and minorities to the construction industry. I would love to discuss the opportunities and what is possible for you in construction and trades, book a call with me today!