FOR "NON-TRADITIONAL" WOMEN EVERYWHERE
Many of the challenges women in construction face are not particular to them but rather common if not universal experiences for women in male-dominated occupations. There are pioneering women in many other non-traditional fields--manufacturing, transportation, STEM fields, firefighting, military and law enforcement, and so many more--and they are every one of them breaking ground. Those women know who they are, and Hard Hatted Woman honors them in spirit. The mission of the film is to provoke much deeper discussion about gender bias in all "non-traditional" jobs and raise awareness of the obstacles women in them confront. We believe this is a conversation that will benefit women everywhere.
WHY FOCUS ON CONSTRUCTION?
With so many remarkable women breaking ground in diverse fields, why have we chosen to focus on the building trades? We were drawn to construction sites for many reasons--visually, they are unique and compelling places. Also, construction is familiar to us all. The building trades collectively produce the structures we see everyday. But beyond these intuitive reasons, we also wanted to report on the ongoing viability of construction careers. Currently there is a major skills gap and labor shortage facing the industry as a whole generation retires, and to solve this problem the industry must embrace diversity and change. We believe women should make up at least 25% of the next generation workforce. Lastly, because our buildings, bridges, and roads must always be built in the U.S.A., the opportunities in building and construction trades will endure for a long time to come.
why focus on unionized trades?
We have chosen to focus on unionized trades for three simple reasons. First, union apprenticeship programs have provided by far the most viable pathway for women to enter these careers, offering paid training and an educational structure for acquiring skills and mentoring. Second, the economic advantages of these careers exist only because unions have fought for those strong wages, benefits, and worker protections. Third, the process of union democracy has given women a vehicle in which to organize and build their movement. For all of these reasons, unions have played a fundamental role in the tradeswoman story, which is why they play a fundamental role in the film.