You guys here are pretty well experienced in matters Electrical. I had a phone call from a pre-spective Apprentice, tonight and I asked them what sort of experience they had. I was told that they would start from the bottom and work up. Sure, that's OK, but I would like to think that anyone that I take out on a job, has a basic idea on what happens in an Electrical/Construction environment. Sure I can teach them the basics, and the kid could have good skills in working in roof-voids. But from what she told me, she does not like enclosed spaces or spiders. I'm not sexist in the least, but I really don't think that this would work out. What do you people think?.
[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 05-14-2004).]
My personal experience is that women should not be out in the field,as it is more than likely to cause a multitude of problems. If they want to be in volved with construction there is plenty of inside work that they can find just as fulfilling.
Re: Experience?#38038 05/14/0408:21 AM05/14/0408:21 AM
I don't like spiders eather but I don't think I would let that slip out during a job interview.
I guess the real question is how it would affect their job performance. I have no problem in an open space killing some that I come across. Going down in a damp crawel space filled with cob webs and spiders running each way that's what I hate. Luckly we don't do much old crawel space work. We do more atic work. I guess it's too hot for the spiders there.
Are spiders an occupational hazard? How can you protect an employee from this hazard?
Maybe you can think how often and when you come across the little creachers. Talk to the applicant and say it's a deciding factor in getting and keeping the job. Same goes with the small spaces. Describe what she is expected to do.
She might not know what to expect in an attic and imagine pictures like a horror movie. She might also be too honest for her own good. Some guys will say thay can do all and am affraid of nothing. But it's not the case.
When I first started out they would ask if I was affraid of hights. I was thinking of 50' or more high like a steel worker not 20'. That might of cost me a few possabilities.
One other note. On ocassion I had my wife help out when someone did not show up. Different customers would say "you made that poor woman work so hard". I was not pushing her. She just works hard. But I might of lost work because of it. I never herd someone say that the guys are working too hard. As emploiers we can't discriminate, should expect the same, pay the same, etc.. The trouble is customes still discriminate.
Re: Experience?#38039 05/14/0408:26 AM05/14/0408:26 AM
Remember, Indiana Jones was pretty tough, but he hated snakes.
The gender issue is a seperate one from the physical demands of the trade. The job might demand going into crawlspaces or attics, and the apprentice should know that up front. Same thing with heights. Proper safety messures should minimize the dangers involved in this work.
I don't want to get stung by bees, so I would have a can of hornet spray on the service truck if I was working on outside cabinets, changing lamps, etc. Where there are poisonous insects or animals, use caution.
The construction environment can be an unpleasant place for a woman. It shouldn't be, but that's reality. Job trailers often have pin-ups hanging up; job-toilets are often littered with profane graffiti and they are also very unpleasant for anyone to use, especially a woman.
Federal regulations (here in the US) dictate that a job environment shouldn't be "hostile" or make a person feel threatened sexually. Still, I feel most construction sites are somewhat threatening to a woman. That's just the sad reality, the nature of the collective ignorance of male construction workers.
All of these things should be taken into account by a prospective apprentice.
Our IBEW local takes in female apprentices. Some don't make it through the program, but some become good mechanics.
Re: Experience?#38042 05/14/0409:49 AM05/14/0409:49 AM
Another point i would like to make is that here in Canada it is legal for women to go topless,which would make it difficult for the guys to work with on a hot day if they chose to go that way which on hot days we do at times.
I have run into the same thing that Tom stated. I usually do jobs with my son as helper but on the few occasions that he couldn't make it, I took my wife instead. I get some funny looks and reactions to her. Like "You shouldn't work her so hard, she's sweating." or "I would never make a woman dig a trench." It's funny, these people would rather have her terminate circuits not knowing what she's doing rather then have her do something where she might get dirty.
I don't see sex as a problem in itself here. It may be true that on average men are physically stronger than women, but let's face it, taken on an individual basis there are huge variations in both sexes.
Give me a shovel and leave me to dig a 30 ft. long 2 ft. deep trench and I can assure you that I would consider that hard labor, and there are undoubtedly some women who could outdig me on such a task.
I think the claustrophobia and creepy-crawly angle is probably a bigger concern. Crawling through old attics one can find much less pleasant things than the occasional spider as well (the remains of a rat, its jaws still locked around the cable which had been its last meal comes to mind - Ugh ). Not a problem if your apprentice is only likely be working on installs in new buildings, but that's not likely, right?
As for building sites, I have to agree with the conditions on some of them. I'm sure I cannot be the only male who find some of them extremely offensive.