There are any number of reasons a woman will choose to work in construction and trades. It could be a burning desire to build something she can be proud of or to meet her need of being physical in her job.
It could be because she is looking beyond the tools and wants to have her own building company or wants to project manage home renovations or get an appreciation of what happens onsite to understand the paperwork when back in the office.
No matter the reason, women have a place in construction, no matter what has been the norm in the past.
Despite the change in the last 10 years or so as more women have embraced a career in the trades, they are still in the minority. We will always be in the minority.
It’s hard being in the minority. By nature, we yearn to be part of the majority, but women in trades will rarely make a majority unless more women choose to pursue a career in construction. And that can only happen through education and making trade companies aware how valuable an asset a female tradie can be for their business.
But being in the minority does not mean we need to be in isolation. It means we have to strengthen those heart muscles to believe in ourselves when there is no one physically around to cheer us on.
Dealing with doubt when you’re in the minority is hard. I doubted myself plenty of times while I was doing my apprenticeship. It was the focus of many of my prayers in 2008 and 2009. More courage. More wisdom and most of all more strength. (let’s be honest, I still pray these prayers now that I’m a mother!)
The only way to kill doubt is to use our mind to tell ourselves to keep going. There is a lot of truth in the saying mind over matter because it was a principal I lived during those early years as an apprentice. If my mind didn’t control my thoughts and feelings, I would have quit after my first day at TAFE.
I know that there are women around Australia who are still doing their apprenticeship or have come out of their time and are anxious about going out on their own. The antidote to doubt is confidence and the only way we can build it is by taking one step at a time and facing each hurdle head on.
We build confidence through experience. And when we are confident, it leaves little room for doubt.
So if you find yourself doubting your skills, your ability or questioning whether you’ve made the right career choice, recall why you decided to pursue a career as a tradie in the first place and remember the most valuable things in life are never easy to achieve.
What you are doing is incredible and whatever resistance you are pushing through right now, is making a safe way for other women to pursue a similar career path.
How have you overcome doubt in your career? What resistance have you had to face in your job?