Women are to be seen, not heard...
Updated: Mar 6
I started in construction when I was 16 years old working with my uncle who had a masonry company. I was always comfortable around men since I was raised by my father and a baseball team. I was taught to know where my place in life was but allowed to move around until there was acceptance. When I started to work for my uncle I immediately started to take a liking to construction and how a piece of raw material became a beautiful work of art when combined with other materials. I also quickly learned that I was not allowed to speak or express any type of thought process, just to do the work on hand and go home. I worked like this for two (2) years.
Was I shy or just speechless?
When I was 21 years old, I got my first opportunity to work for a corporate home builder, a real company. I was shocked that I was even hired for I only answered the questions in my interview and did not speak any more than what I was asked. I am grateful to the gentlemen that gave me this opportunity and he will forever live in my heart with the utmost gratitude. He believed in women in the workplace, not because he thought we were capable, but because we worked harder than most, which meant he did not have to work as hard. I did not care, I was allowed to to work in an industry I fell in love with early on in my life.
The more I wanted to learn, the more I was continuously told to stick to the typewriter and nothing more. There is no need for me to know more than what I was hired to do. Really?
From speechless to low self esteem
During this time of my life, I was married to an arrogant man and was a victim of domestic violence. He too, was in the construction industry, and was very well known for his knowledge and perfection in the trade. In my heart I felt this industry would help make me the woman that I wanted to become, yet my eyes were seeing something else. I would be so confused because I was fighting with reality and my instinct.
About 2 years into this company, I was not able to take it anymore. I was tired of having such low self esteem and feeling that I was bound and gagged. Some of my more professional and sophisticated counterparts where blaming their mistakes on me because they knew I did not dare to speak out and defend myself.
My heart instincts were getting stronger and was pulling me into an unknown direction that would take a lot of guts to break out and venture down that road. A girl raised by her father who taught her to know her place in life, a wife to a horrible man that only knew how to beat her, just because he wanted to, and an employee to an industry that would constantly remind her that her worth was not as important as those of a man; yeah, that breakthrough would have to come from a higher power.
I know I am not the only one that has gone through this and I pray that those that have, did not have the hard journey that I had to go through to get to where I am at today.