50 girls visited Miron Construction Friday morning to learn about opportunities in the field.
Laurel Randall, a Journey Carpenter with the company, was on hand along with other female employees to offer advice and answer any questions the seventh to 10th graders had.
“If all you see every day is the guy on the construction site, where is the ‘Oh, I can do that’?” she said. “If you see a woman on the construction site, it’s like ‘Oh hey, she can do that. I can do that.'”
Dave Walsh, Vice President of Human Resources at Miron Construction told Local 5 the program is meant to help address the gender gap in the field.
“Half the population is female, but about five percent of the construction world is female,” he said, “so we’re really trying to encourage participation in this industry by girls.”
Tori Schmidt of Fond du Lac was interested in construction before attending the workshop.
“I want to go into the trades for sure,” she said, “and be with a team. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and working with a team.”
Schmidt says that the event could help other girls see all that construction has to offer.
“You never know what you’re going to like until you try it,” she said. “All the different ages of girls get to come together and see how the trades work and how it actually all gets put together.”
“If they don’t have exposure to it, how do they know?” she asked. “I want them to make up their own minds.”
Randall added that working in the field comes with its perks.
“They pay and the benefits are great,” she said. “I raised a son by myself as a carpenter.”
Randall says that gender stereotypes should not keep women from working in construction.
“Women can do anything,” she said. “Why shouldn’t we build America?”