By the time you read this, I will have completed a chainsaw course.
Not something I ever saw coming, but suddenly with a farm with many, many trees, and two large fireplaces that need feeding during the colder months, I need to learn how to use a chainsaw.
Actually, that is not true.
I don’t have to learn. I could leave it to my husband with him being a man and all!!!
When we realised we would need to have a chainsaw on the farm, the general consensus was that a friend or a friend of a friend could show us how to use one.
That made me uneasy. I knew that I did not want to pick up anyone else’s bad habits when learning how to use a deadly tool. Have you heard of ‘kickback’ on a chainsaw? It does not get scarier than that.
I was nervous the night before the course; it bought back memories of school. I loved school, but as my husband and I were going through the thirty-question pre-learning questionnaire and its accompanying fifty-seven-page manual, it reminded me of sitting tests. I even found myself hiding my answers from my husband; he was definitely doing it too!
Although I am used to taking assessments with my coach credentialing board, no one is likely to get seriously injured if I fail a coaching assessment.
I also have memories of the last time I participated in a ‘male-dominated course (4WD); every time I asked a question, the trainer answered my husband. It wasn’t until I got behind the wheel, pulled a truckie bogged in the sand that he realised I might be worth training. He had said, “It’s good when the wives come; they can keep the driver fed!!!” I was very generous with my feedback form.
My inspiration is the female tradies I have been hiring for work at the farm and our home. Marcelle, the carpenter, Lani the electrician, Leonie the painter, and Kasey and Clare, the garden crew who are on the tools and creative landscapers.
Personally, I have had enough of some of the not-so-nice energy male tradies give off. I know, not all men, but it’s great to see women with power tools, isn’t it? Owning their craft, honing their mastery, it’s also exciting to feel like a co-collaborator, have people turn up on time, and the work area is thoroughly cleaned up when they leave.
These traits may not be true of all female tradies, but it is true of the ones I have hired.
In conversation with them and with my clients who work in male-dominated industries, these women have to be better than their male counterparts to get on in their industries; they are regularly confronted by the biases they have to overcome to be taken seriously.
If you are in Australia and interested in supporting female tradies, check out The Lady Tradies.
If you are somewhere else in the world, I’m not sure where you should start, but I started with a google search.
There are still jobs (and courses) coded as male, and as women, we have the right to be in those jobs and attend the courses if we want to.
We also look sexier with a power tool, which is obviously the most important thing.
Wishing you a weekend of being wherever you want.