During the recent renovation of our bathroom something unusual happened; a woman installed the cabinet. I wish this occurrence wasn't so notable but it was.
Carol DesRoches has worked at her job for eighteen years and stayed in her home province doing it. She was the only tradeswoman when she started work. Today she sees women painters, burner mechanics and a variety of other tradeswomen.
In the late 1990s one of the young women in the school where I worked did a welding program after she finished high school. That year, I took my classes to visit her college nearby in an effort to introduce the students to the viability of the trades programs for everyone. It was great to hear the instructor describe what a good welder this young woman was, the best in his class, with precise hands that did great work. She beamed with pride and rightly so.
Jobs in the trades obviously provide better pay than traditional jobs in retail, the service industry or other minimum wage jobs where so many women are employed. With such low paying jobs, women can't get ahead financially or see a better future for themselves or their children. Many will stay in situations which are less than they deserve because they can't see a way out.
Seeing Carol in our home, competently doing her work, gives us hope that the roadblocks to women in the trades, whether imposed by themselves or society, are disappearing.
We live in hope because of Carol.