Our guest on this episode of the This is a Man’s World podcast is Dana Francis, a mom, steamfitter/pipe-fitter, apprentice welder, and podcaster. Dana got into the trades when she realised that she needed a bit more financial stability than she currently had in construction retail. She was accepted into the Women Building Futures program and quickly realised that this would be a much better situation for herself and her family.
Always one to appreciate a hard day’s work, Dana has found fulfillment in her career and encourages other women to learn more about the trades industry. Dana and Michelle swap stories about their experiences on the job site, appropriate and inappropriate treatment they have received, and the varying levels of support for women in the trades they have observed. It is interesting how even the simple act of wearing makeup is perceived, and Dana and Michelle discuss what it is like to be a woman, a mom, and a tradeswoman.
Dana encourages other women who are in the trades or considering a career in the trades to stick with it if it is what you really want to do and be open-minded about taking new opportunities. Don’t be frightened off by the long work hours but find a schedule that will work for you and your family, especially if you have children in daycare. It is important for women to continue to seek employment in the trades and to support each other along the way.
0:41 – Dana Francis is a steamfitter/pipe-fitter and apprentice welder and she hosts the Career Pod podcast – she describes her journey to get here.
2:16 – How Dana knew she needed to get into the trades.
3:42 – The Women Building Futures program in Canada was the jumpstart she needed to get into her new career.
6:00 – Dana emphasises the importance of employers supporting women in the trades.
6:51 – Is it difficult for women to start careers in the trades in their 30’s?
9:21 – Can only certain types of women survive in the trades industry?
10:56 – Has Dana received any special treatment being a woman on the job site?
12:34 – Dana’s experience working with other women on site.
16:24 – Advice to women entering the trades.
21:47 – Dana’s preference for extreme cold weather over extreme hot weather.
23:29 – How they deal with bears and cougars on site.
25:35 – Dana’s assessment of how the trades industry is doing in Canada.
27:34 – How Dana navigates home/life balance as a mom.
30:30 – The sleep deprivation and physical damage that new moms are dealing with are really impairments to their effective work life.
32:35 – Dana talks about her passion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
34:39 – Advice to women considering a career in the trades.
“I think you can pretty much start at any age.”
“You have to be able to navigate different social situations at work.”
“I don’t ever want to think that there is not room for improvement.”
“I have to find a way to laugh at myself every day because if not I am taking my job too seriously.”
“Once your foot is in the door, make sure you’re holding the door for someone else.”