Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in the construction industry will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they’re able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Construction and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated construction field.
Career Options for Women -- Construction:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in construction:
- Menyui Leung, a welder with experience in manufacturing and shipbuilding
- Suzy Zaric, a restoration carpenter specializing in damage repair
- Luce Gregoire, an electrician who works on lighting and heating equipment
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Construction video:
25-year-old Menyui Leung spent two years at Simon Fraser University before she took a welding course at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Following successful completion of the course, Menyui worked as a welder building large manufacturing equipment. When that job wrapped up, she went on vacation and was away barely a week when a job offer with Vancouver Shipyards came in. One aluminum welding course later and two and a half years work experience, Menyui is set up!
Being a woman in a very male-dominated trade such as welding can have its moments. But Menyui’s approach to the job environment is as consistent as the welds she so skillfully performs. Menyui thinks the nice thing about welding is that it has a variety of applications, from heavy engineered industrial jobs to projects that are very artistic due to their aesthetics and functionality. She thinks welding is a skill that both women and men can excel at.
One of the big benefits of Menyui’s job -- like many trade and technology careers -- is the income. An experienced journey welder can make a great living depending on the company and job. There can also be excellent medical and dental benefits, a pension plan and regular hours.
Menyui has mastered her welding skills to the point where she is preparing to start a studio to explore the creative side of welding. It’s all part of her ongoing involvement with a variety of artistic endeavours.
Suzy: Restoration Carpenter
Susy Zaric works as an apprentice carpenter for McBride Restorations, a construction company that specializes in water damage repair. She removes waterdamaged wood, does clean up, assists carpenters and measures/cuts wood.
For Susy, the rewards of her job come from the challenges encountered when she works in restorations. She feels proud when she drives by a building that she fixed. She fell in love with the work when she started watching "This Old House". Her father was also a painter and a decorator.
After completing high school, Susy worked for eight years in an office environment before entering the Women in Trades program in carpentry at British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). She was very shocked to hear that there is a 99% failure rate for women in this field. While she was in the program, her instructor posted a job fax from McBride Restorations. She applied and -- a week out of school -- started working there.
Susy's advice to other young women interested in the field is: "Go for it!" She says "Now that I'm doing this, I don't know why there aren't more women in this industry. It's a lot easier than I thought it was going to be."
Luce Gregoire is a first year apprentice electrician. Her job involves making conduit runs, connecting lines, drilling, putting lines in conduits, transformers, motors, switches, lights, heating, and thermostats. In the past, she has fixed street lights, traffic lights, and transformers.
Luce Gregoire's mother wasn't shocked when Luce switched careers from cinema arts to trades electrician. In fact, Luce received a lot of support and encouragement. It wasn't a snap decision. Luce took an 8-week orientation course to see what trade sparked her interest the most. Today, Luce is completely wired into her career, working on transformers, motors, switches, lights, and heating equipment. To find her present job, Luce called some contractors after receiving her diploma in electricity and construction.
“So far, it hasn't been too physical but you need to be in shape, you need to be good with your hands, and be logical, which can be frustrating when you're not sure about something.”
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University