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How often do you see Female workers in the metal trades?

Discussion in 'Welding' started by Tim.pin, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Tim.pin

    Tim.pin Member

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    I stumbled upon this article and a graphic with statistics about female welders but it also touched a bit on the female presence in the metalwork trades in general. You can see it here: https://weldingpros.net/female-welders-fill-the-gaps/

    Someone linked to that on another forum I follow about the garage work.

    This got me thinking.. in my years of work I have never seen a female welder or a metal worker. Literally never.

    I saw a few carpenters ladies and a couple of women that were plasterers. I also personally know a neighbor of mine and she is an electrician. But those trades are not from the metalwork industry.

    So I was wondering what are your experiences? Do you see women working in these trades?
     
  2. redneckracin

    redneckracin Senior Member

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    I ran into one girl who approached me in the Tilted Kilt in Robinson when I was having dinner. I was wearing my F.R. clothing and she was a waitress. She made some small talk and basically said she constantly got harassed when she was working in the field as a welders helper. She ended up starting her job at the kilt so she could have better hours and go back to school I believe. She also mentioned she works less hours waiting tables but makes more money.. I'm sure her outfit did wonders for her tips as she filled it out well.
     
  3. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    While working in a Nuke Power Station, saw plenty Female Iron Workers, Welders, Fitters, Equipment operators. Hat is off to all of them that could manage trade groups.
     
  4. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I know of at least 6 female welders where I am right now, distributed amongst the various shifts. There may be more.
     
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  5. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Good observation. I've ran across a couple of licensed tug boat engineers on Foss boats, A female journey level mechanic working in the spec shop at a Cat dealer and a successful EPG Tech that runs her own little business in AK. That's about it during my 35 year career.

    I was a diesel instructor for 10 years in public ed, state college & university level and had plenty of female students. Just a few graduated. The ones that did and entered the work force never stayed in the industry very long. I was a Caterpillar ThinkBig coordinator for a Cat dealer. This subject came up often. I sat on the Cat Global Dealer Learning Group committee for an assignment and the topic of female recruitment was addressed. We discovered many barriers but not many solutions for recruitment.

    What I discovered is one cannot have the discussion without uncomfortable non-politically correct bullet points such as strength limitations, lack of proper bathroom facilities on a job site and so forth. One of the biggest barriers we found were fathers or male role-models telling their daughters not to go into the trade.

    Certainly, some job sites can still be pretty rough around the edges, but there are also some shining examples of modern dealership environments that are very inviting and human resource compliant. Even the most progressive dealership is unable to recruit female, heavy equipment mechanics, fabricators, welders and so on.
     
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  6. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Neighbors daughter we helped to raise went to Ranken trade school for Auto Mechanic, passed flying colors and does do her own wrench work at home, currently rehabs houses, pays better.
     
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  7. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Maybe they are smarter than us?
     
  8. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    The military has a good amount of female heavy equipment mechanics and such. The dealership and college recruiters I know have good success recruiting veterans into dealership tech positions or post-secondary training programs. Again, you just don't see many of the female veterans with a mechanical MOS sticking around the public sector very long in hands-on heavy industry. Even in veteran preference government contract type jobs on base.

    I stay in contact with many of my former students because it's a great feeling to see them successful, buying houses and raising families. I find the females often leave the industry to get married and raise children. The dealership lifestyle doesn't foster that lifestyle, no matter what the HR Dept promotes. Twelve hour shifts, customer demands, unannounced overtime, traveling for jobs and training, sick kids, Yada yada.
     
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  9. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    In the US, Title 9 has hurt vocational programs. It's not politicaly correct to talk about it. Over zealous, tile 9 compliance officers, especially at the university level, hammer the heavy equipment repair and welding programs for not having enough females for their feel-good quotas. So the instructors try extra hard to recruit females, even ignoring college minimum entrance score requirements. Additionally, instructors are afraid of flunking female students when they deserve it. For such things as poor attendance , failing test scores, not completing lab assignments, drug and alcohol policy issues.

    So, these female students get pushed through the system with very little accountability. Then we act surprised when they fail in the workplace.

    My summary is; woman in general, just don't want to perform this sort of work. Women and men are different and we should celebrate this. There is no way to quantify it, make a spreadsheet or measure it. If there was, we would have educational research available to study. I haven't ran across any research on the topic. I had to study education research methods when I was doing my graduate work. I looked for it. Someone should, but it's not a popular subject and as I mentioned earlier, the truth of the matter is not politically correct.
     
  10. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Time for a story.!

    I was starting fall semester with a group of freshmen at the University of Alaska. Full classes with over 100% enrollment. Basic electricity and Diesel engines. Basic electrical was a pre-req for both diesel and auto students. I had four females in the basic electricity class.

    One of the ladies was active duty army at JBER. Which was not uncommon for having the base next door. She was super wild, foul mouthed and high energy. I was covering ohms law and doing some street math on the white board. The students were following along, learning how to manipulate the V=IR formula. Wild child was getting angered. I asked her at break time if something was wrong and She told me that math made her angry! Ok, I get it.

    Apparently, math wasn't the only thing that made her angry. A couple days later, campus police, along with JBER military police, interrupted my class and took wild child with them. Cleaned out her locker and took her student toolbox.
     
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  11. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    I was talking to my neighbour just before Christmas, his daughter is doing a boilermaker (welding) apprenticeship with BHP. 75% of them are female. Knocked my cotton socks off I'll give you the tip but good on them. Got thinking how thing have changed, males taking on traditional female jobs.
     
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  12. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    A 75% female cohort welding apprenticeship is very unique.
     
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  13. Pixie

    Pixie Senior Member

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    I am female and worked as a laborer and carpenter for more than 15 years. Also in boatbuilding. I'm well over 60 years old now and "retired". I always wanted to go to welding school but didn't intend to have a 'real' job at it... just for my own use, because by that time I had enough money to only work part time when I wanted or needed to.

    I wrench on my own stuff but don't try welding anymore because of the risk to my eyesight. Still work on building projects but they are my own. Have a major remodel going now; it's something to do that is socially distant !

    It's certainly true that not many women seem to have a deep interest in this sort of thing and they don't seem to stick with it. I like the physical challenges and enjoy the work a whole lot more than trying to be polite as a waitress though waitressing did pay better. :)
     
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  14. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    I was teaching diesel technology at a state college in Idaho at the start of the millennium. The building I worked in housed my program and auto collision repair. Some of you may remember the popularity of the automotive and street bike reality shows at the time. As a result, every young person wanted to be the next Chip Foose or Jessy James.

    The auto collision program was at 150% capacity with a two year waiting list. It did not attract the students who wanted to become professional collision repair techs. It attracted the wannabe lifestyle, gangster and hobby types, that were for the most part, unemployable. To the chagrin of the auto collision instructor.

    One day during class, I heard a commotion next door, yelling, screaming, then saw flashing lights. Three of the male Collision Repair students were throwing down over a disagreement. One of the young ladies had befriended all three of the fellas in an intimate way. All in the same week, each thinking She was their exclusive girlfriend.

    They were doing their lab assignments and the topic came up up creating much heartbreak and dismay !! The problem eventually worked itself out. Only one of the male students stuck around to finish the semester and the young lady switched programs. The other two males had assault charges to deal with and never came back.

    On record, that was three non-completers and a minority student of the protected class "dropping out". Which are all black marks for an academic program. Now, the poor collision repair instructor is trying to explain to the Dean of student affairs why the "minority student" dropped out. Well, Doctor, Sally Ann was banging everyone in the class, sometimes in the tool room, and it created an disruptive situation in the lab. I didn't kick her out of class. I heard from her fellow students that She is too embarrassed to attend classes. The situation is a little Awkward.
     
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  15. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Women do some of the best aeronautical-grade tig welding available with their fine touch, motor-skills. I wish programs and employers could figure out how to recruit and retain them.
     
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  16. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    We just had our only female driver retire. Fact-she had the best safety record and on time status of any of the other 64 drivers. Her truck was always spotless inside and clean outside.
    The tractor she drove had the thinnest folder for repairs and she ran 3,000 miles a week average. She had the best attitude and never complained--We could use another 65 like her.
     
  17. JD955SC

    JD955SC Senior Member

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    we had a young woman in my Think Big program class, the first one for our region. The sexist SOBs at her dealer ran her off shortly after graduating by treating her extremely bad. In doing so they lost a good mechanic who went on to much better things.
     
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  18. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

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    I left out another fact also-She could cut a fellow down to size at the drop of a hat. Something one of our other drivers witnessed at a fuel desk in a truck stop.
    Another driver from a national trucking company thought she cut in front of him at the fuel island which didn't happen because there is a video camera on the island. He ranted at her, she asked if
    the person behind the fuel desk could run up the truck she was driving-sure enough it didn't happen.

    Her reply----------Buckwheat if your face was toilet paper I wouldn't use it to wipe my A$$.
     
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  19. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

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    Had a female welder at a company I worked for in the early 80's.
    She wasn't the girl you took home to meet your parents. A little rough around the edges....Yea, she rode a Harley too.

    Ed
     
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  20. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    JD955SC,
    I could see that happening. That's tragic all around. Leaves a terrible impression and that is what we've trying to get away from for the last 40 years.

    We didn't have any issues like that, which I was aware of at the Portland Community College ThinkBig program. The sponsoring dealers did a good job training mentors for the ThinkBig students and there was a group effort to make the program work. My dealer principle paid the mentors in the shop a bonus to work with the students.

    I would say the majority of the female ThinkBig graduates didn't stay in the shop very long. They went into PSSR roles, sales, Standard Jobs, and warranty administration.
     
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