According to Construction Dive, the percentage of women in construction overall has hovered somewhere between 9% and 10% since 1996 and is currently at 9.9%, but of the 8.3 million that were employed in field production of the construction and extraction industries in 2018, only 3.4% were women. With a high demand for tradesmen, now is the time for women to knock down the barrier for women working in the field and B&D’s very own Trissa Crank is doing just that.
Meet B&D’s first woman Foreman (Forewoman), Trissa Crank. Trissa grew up in the small town of Tuba City, Arizona with her parents, three sisters and one brother. She very much enjoyed growing up in a big family. Throughout high school, Trissa held several jobs. One of her first jobs was at the only grocery store in town, Bashes Grocery Store. She quickly found out she had a knack for counting and handling large amounts of money. She became a courtesy clerk, turned cashier then bookkeeper. As good as she was counting and handling money, she knew it was not for her. She didn’t enjoy the desk life and found herself wanting a more active hands-on job.
Trissa’s first job in construction was working for her uncle. Her uncle was a Superintendent for a local construction company called, Zachary Construction. She became his apprentice, pulling 500kv cables into very large panels. She started out knowing nothing about the trade, but caught on very quickly. She spent that winter continuing to pull wire in the freezing cold. The elements did not slow her down, she wanted to learn more. After that winter, she knew that working in construction is where she wanted to be. She then moved to Phoenix, where she started her apprenticeship. Going into her first-year apprenticeship, she felt very confident going into the program as she had a lot of knowledge learning from her father, uncle and brother; however, she very quickly understood she was very mistaken. She did not realize how much she still had to learn, which motivated her to learn and get more involved.
Trissa has now been in the industry for 15 years and has enjoyed it immensely. She enjoys all the different avenues of the industry; commercial, residential, and industrial. Trissa stated, “There are so many branches you can take, but I chose installation because I enjoy working with my hands and looking at what I made.” When asked where she sees herself in ten years she stated, “I honestly don’t know lately, I have been working my butt off to see where it takes me. Sometimes I think about when I’m older, I would like to be an inspector for the city. I have seen my share of bad installations and would like to be a part of helping make those installation safer and more accurate.” As much as she is a tough girl, dirt on her boots kind of girl, she still enjoys the girly things. She enjoys spending time with her daughter and making jewelry. She also enjoys putting down her hard hat and tool and sewing when she has spare time.
We asked her on her thoughts on women in the Industry. She said, “when I first started out in the field it was very rare to see a woman on the jobsite. Over the years I started to see more women, and when I did, I would praise them and get to know them and their stories.” She began to tell me how difficult it is working in an environment where men are more dominate. She stated, “this trade isn’t for the weak hearts, I swear it takes a lady to put up with these tough men.” You must have a tough skin to work in the industry we do. She hopes to prove that women have just as much talent and strength to work in the industry, and she is certainly proving that. B&D is so proud to have Trissa on our team and even more so in the field.