Like gardening and weeding, de-tiling and sorting tiles are some of the best ways to get to know someone because of the hours spent with a repetitive task in good company. Naya and I first bonded while sitting in a room sorting tiles as she told me her experiences as a black woman in construction. Like Iris from our last group of apprentices (who just got a job at the snack shack, hooray!), Naya is the only woman in the current group.
When I asked her why she was in construction and what she wanted to get out of it, she responded that she was in construction because people told her she couldn’t do it. She also said she wants a job skill set she can transfer no matter where she travels and wants to have the ability to provide a more stable living situation for her two kids. A woman who has the courage to defy the naysayers and enter into the construction field is okay in my book!
Naya has faced some major obstacles in her life, but she argues it makes her stronger. Losing her son to SIDS last year was completely devastating, but it taught her that she has an amazing strength and willpower to continue to get up and get to work. She hopes to secure her forklift driving certification someday soon.
If you’re interested in supporting a woman seeking employment in construction fields, please contact us.