Filed under: Women + Tools | Tags: Leah Burton, Women and tools, Women's Toolshed
What’s fun about blogging is connecting with other people who share the same passions as you do. After receiving this wonderful comment from Leah Burton at the Women’s Toolshed, we had to contact her. Here’s what she had to say:
What got you interested in tools?
My stubborn side. The more people tell me I can’t do something, the more I want to prove them wrong!
What was your first project? What was your most recent project?
Started as a regular laborer on construction sites. Finished off by building two 2,000sf homes and doing pretty much every bit of it on my own.
Where do you find inspiration for your projects?
Everywhere! Standing in line at the grocery store flipping through magazines, places I visit. I’ll tear out pages of magazines I like and store them away in a file drawer for the right time.
What’s the most sexist thing anyone has said to you on a job site?
“You hammer like a girl.” To which I responded, “You pee like a guy, what’s your point?”
Were you able to turn being a woman on the jobsite to your advantage?
Absolutely! Guys are simple. You don’t argue with them, you outsmart them. Make them think it’s their idea and you can get just about anything done. You just can’t get caught up in taking all the credit.
What are the biggest obstacles you see facing women today in the construction/carpentry industry?
Intimidation- One of the first things women ask me is, “Was it hard?” No! The biggest secret about the construction industry is that there is no secret. The majority of things being built are being done by unskilled workers. Just look at the “windshield contractors” with their huge beer bellies. If it was that strenuous, they wouldn’t look like that. You have to move past the attitudes and the maturity issues and just jump in. Don’t be afraid!
Women are naturally detail-oriented and therefore inclined to do a good job on this type of work anyway. It’s a matter of brains vs. braun. The best guys on the job will tell you the same thing.
What changes would you like to see made in tools for women?
lighter, more ergonomic so you don’t have all the pain & arthritis issues that force you to stop working when you get older. Making them more environmentally friendly.
What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs trying to make their dream a reality?
Don’t be afraid of failure. Reinvent yourself each time. Take your experiences and add them to your new perspective and push on. Encourage and inspire each other. Dispel the mystery surrounding the industry.
What’s next for you and the Women’s Toolshed?
I’m working on more books- specifically “Remodel Your House, Not Your Relationship”
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