An Effort to Get More Women into Male-Dominated Careers

March 08, 2018 08:57 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- There is a push to get more women into what has always been male-dominated careers.

“I was looking for a stable career instead of going job to job. I also wanted to support my children,” Sierra Walsh.


Walsh found the answer in carpentry.

“There is this stigmatism that it's only a male-dominated workforce, which traditionally it has been,” said Matthew Price, an Instructor with the North Central States Carpenters Union.

The Carpenters Union is working to get more women in the field. “It’s probably 20 % to 30 % of our population throughout all six states in our training area are female now. So it's night and day change,” said Price.

Ideally, Price says they would like to see a 50/50 split. “They [women] can do the job and do it just as well, if not better.”

“There’s different tricks and tips so you can lift just as much as they [men] can,” said Nikki Wells, who is in the program.

“I think there is a high demand for us out there,” said Whitney Heiny, who is also in the program.

Nearly 3,500 women were enrolled in Workforce Development Inc. programs in 2016. That’s up from about 2,600 in 2013.

In Iowa, many are celebrating Women in Construction Week. Nationally the construction industry is only 9% women.

Another work field is lacking equal representation according to Brittney Marschall, the Co-Chair of More Women on the Move. “At a higher level of leadership its men. Even in middle management. That’s where More Women on the Move wants to break through those barriers.”

She says some progress is being made. “We have seen an increased level of participation in our training events.”

Whether in politics, management, construction or carpentry ... “Us girls are kicking butt out there I think,” said Heiny.


Hannah Tiede

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