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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!
New to the postings, but I have been in the construction world since 1999 b/c I married a carpenter when I was 20, started a business, and am now divorced. My stupid question of the day is, how the hell can I get a measure of respect from men in this business without "showing them up" or being condesending? I know my stuff, I'm well expierenced in banging nails as much as I am in using the top of the line auto cad programs, IE: Softplan, 20/20 software, etc. Every time I try to get ahead I'm treated like a young stupid girl and this forces me to make grown men look like idiots in front of there crew/wives b/c they failed to deliver the same amount of respect to me as I do to them. I don't want to be a *****, too pretty and little for that, but I want to be taken seriously. A serious response would be much appreciated
-Dawn :Thumbs:
 

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Dawn, same thing with me.

I am 21 and have a design/build firm in Dallas, Tx.

All I can tell you is to, show them that you know your stuff.
 
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Reply to Cole

Cole_21 said:
Dawn, same thing with me.

I am 21 and have a design/build firm in Dallas, Tx.

All I can tell you is to, show them that you know your stuff.
It's extremely hard to SHOW you know your stuff when you can't even get your foot in the door, and then I get on the "defence" and it makes me look like I'm trying too hard to prove myself, it would be much easier if more people were like me and gave other people the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure when I establish a clientel base in New Orleans, the old, "word of mouth" form of advertising, which is truly the best form, will kick in, but for now, I guess I just have to keep dealing out my list of references and my portfolio.
Thanks for the response, I will be joining in on actual construction issues and concerns in the future on your forum, I just hope I'm doing this right ;)
-Dawn
 

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DGR,IABD
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All of the tradeswomen I know that get much respect from men fall into 2 categories:
1) They are tuff, muscular types who could hold their own in any bar fight.
2) They are lesbians.

I'm not sure why this is true, but it just what I've observed. Don't take this the wrong way. I fully support any women or women owned business who is/are doing the job in a proper manner. Just passing along my observations.
 

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Painting Contractor
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mdshunk said:
All of the tradeswomen I know that get much respect from men fall into 2 categories:
1) They are tuff, muscular types who could hold their own in any bar fight.
2) They are lesbians.

I'm not sure why this is true, but it just what I've observed. Don't take this the wrong way. I fully support any women or women owned business who is/are doing the job in a proper manner. Just passing along my observations.
I haven't encountered any of the above. Our female employees don't
fit these descriptions. We refer to them as professional painters.
I could see how someone will take it the wrong way.
 

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I hate to say it but my opinions are about the same as md's.
I have one woman working for me, she started as a painter and can now do many jobs. She's about 5'10", 180 and commands respect, gets it too. I'd bet that she could whup 3/4 of my guys. I've hired a few others but they just didn't last. Sorry to disappoint but construction is a testoserone laden job.
If you really want to know how to come out on top, Google 'Renar Homes' this lady owns a large development company. Don't try to work from the ground up, aim for the top in the beginning. Nobody wants to PO the boss.
 

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Deck Designer/Builder
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Too late Dawn :(

As I started reading your thread I was thinking that I have to hurry and warn you about Bob but I see I'm too late. Sorry.

Welcome to the board!
 

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tile contractor
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Dawn-- my sister is also in the tile trade, as an estimator and project manager for a union outfit out of White Plains, New York. ALthough she's usually pleasant to work with, she also doesn't take any crap off of anyone, and that includes patronizing or condescension. Even the NYC delegate knows better than to mess with her again! LOL She does her job very well, and in a professional manner, and that's how she gets her respect.


BTW, where abouts in Connecticut you from? I grew up in Orange. :)
 

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Welcome Dawn

I have had many a time with women running jobs, it seems fair to say most are in the commercial line and most if not all were in the hi tec areas.

We are working closely now with a woman who is a maintance director for 7 nursing homes, and I find she is a pleasure to work with.

In respect to "word of mouth" be careful that has a way of working both ways.

Plumbing And Mec had an article not too long on this subject, it was very good, wish I could find it.

Good Luck
BJD
 

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Welcome Dawn,
I've never had the pleasure of working with women in trades,I can see how approching prospective clients in a new area can be difficult...for any one.I'm sure that with your talents you will find a creative in to get noticed. Why the choice of new orleans?... Any ways wishing you luck in your new adventure
Dan
 

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mikesewell said:
This does it for me:

1. Quality construction

2. Good business ethics

3. Total intolerance for people who violate #1 or #2

Welcome aboard,
Intolerance is one of my favorites. :cheesygri I also enjoy 'discriminating' - both in their positive connotations ( as opposed to their popular connotations).
 

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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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Dawn said:
Hey everyone!
New to the postings, but I have been in the construction world since 1999 b/c I married a carpenter when I was 20, started a business, and am now divorced. My stupid question of the day is, how the hell can I get a measure of respect from men in this business without "showing them up" or being condesending? I know my stuff, I'm well expierenced in banging nails as much as I am in using the top of the line auto cad programs, IE: Softplan, 20/20 software, etc. Every time I try to get ahead I'm treated like a young stupid girl and this forces me to make grown men look like idiots in front of there crew/wives b/c they failed to deliver the same amount of respect to me as I do to them. I don't want to be a *****, too pretty and little for that, but I want to be taken seriously. A serious response would be much appreciated
-Dawn :Thumbs:
Dawn,
Welcome.When I was employed with a major painting contractor here in town he had a female foreman/superintendant. At first noone took her seriously, it didn't faze her. She was VERY good at her job. She was an employee, you are a contractor there's a differance. ***** is a matter of perspective, if a man goes about doing business as a shrewd businessman he's considered talented, if a women does the same, she's considered a *****.

If you know the business as well as you claim to, stick to your guns, most GCs after they get over the fact that your'e a women couldn't care less, esspecially if you are geared toward quality, come in on budget, on scheadule,
and otherwise do business as a business person would the GC will quickly get over the women thing.

I would however refrain from letting your emotions get the best of you. It's a tough trade, calls for a thick skin. That goes for any gender. If your'e calling folks to the mat, folks that could potentially give you work, don't. Just an air of confidence goes a very long way. Show your education/experiance when dealing with folks like this. They may not show it, but it will make an impression. More of an impression than calling them to task when they irritate you. Good luck. :Thumbs:
 

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DGR,IABD
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Dawn said:
...I have been in the construction world since 1999
Let's see, 2005 minus 1999 equals 6 years.
Dawn said:
...I married a carpenter when I was 20, started a business, and am now divorced.
Not exactly a model of success in that area, are you?
Dawn said:
My stupid question of the day is, how the hell can I get a measure of respect from men in this business without "showing them up" or being condesending?
Yes, that may indeed be a stupid question. Six years "in the construction world" (whatever that means) is not nearly long enough to command respect yet without regard to your gender.
Dawn said:
I know my stuff... [blah, blah, blah]
Yep, even the apprentices that show up on most jobs think they know it all too. I think that the lack of respect you perceive may iron itself out over time. Don't automatically think that your gender is the issue.
 
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Out of all the bull ********************...

:cool:
mdshunk said:
Let's see, 2005 minus 1999 equals 6 years.
Not exactly a model of success in that area, are you?
Yes, that may indeed be a stupid question. Six years "in the construction world" (whatever that means) is not nearly long enough to command respect yet without regard to your gender.
Yep, even the apprentices that show up on most jobs think they know it all too. I think that the lack of respect you perceive may iron itself out over time. Don't automatically think that your gender is the issue.
:cool: Actually, I really do take note of my weaknesses in the "field" and can be very humble at times, but out of all 15'ish replys on this forum, I'm responding to yours first.
I will give you the Readers's Digest version:
-I marrried lead carpenter for well established, $$$ construction company out of eastern ct, (him being 34 at the time)
-lots of moonlighting caused him to work weekends, making more $$ than hourly during the week, pushed me to start business
- everyone claims to be the "world's best carpenter", they turn out to be the world's biggest vagrent, at the age of 20, (at this time), who the hell am I to judge?
-It's my husband and the crickets every morning and no help, need check, (broke as F***), he calls me to help stand exterior wall to collect phase payment, and then I learned from one of the best carpenters ever.
-New construction turned into remodeling, sub turned into GC, and I fell into blue printing/design, estimating for big Co. in New London, Ct a year ago this month after my last trip to London to escape the husband, this all after 5 or so years of full tilt running a pretty successful company, small but never deficit spending, I had my rights of passage, and yeah baby I paid more dues than most of you old timers that can't seem to keep up on your national and local building codes.
- :D
-I didn't get my ass wiped or whipped
-If you wrote the lesbian Vs. 180lb bulldyke comment... you couldn't be further from the truth, no ********************, I don't even have to justify that.
-keep in touch ;)
 
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