The Impact of Women in Plumbing
Picture the average plumber. For most people, they conjure up an image of a man in a jumpsuit coming to fix a leaky pipe or reset a toilet. Women are hardly ever pictured as plumbers, even though there is a growing female population in the industry. The truth is that the trades are suffering, with many of the skilled tradesmen retiring in the coming years. Now more than ever, both men and women are needed to step up and assume these important roles in the community.
Females have been meaningfully contributing to the plumbing industry since the early 1950s. It’s time to learn a little bit of history on how women have been shaping modern-day plumbing for decades.
Lillian Ann Baumbach Paves the Way
Many people have never heard Lillian Ann Baumbach’s name, but women plumbers around the globe look up to her as an example. Baumbach was the first woman to ace the licensing tests and become a master plumber. She had a long history of working in the plumbing industry after growing up around her father’s business. At the age of six, she began her first contributions to the industry and only grew in success as she aged.
Not only did Lillian pave a path for women everywhere to seek gainful employment in the trade, but she was also quite a beauty. In addition to being a master plumber, she was also a pinup girl. She proved that women with both beauty and brains could contribute to the plumbing industry.
Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers
The Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers was once an active social club. Its main aim was to entertain the wives of plumbers while the men attended conferences as a part of the Master Plumbers Association. However, this rapidly changed into something much more meaningful.
While women were very experienced with the clerical responsibilities of running their husbands’ plumbing businesses, they craved more. They transformed the auxiliary committee into a platform for activism. The women who joined the club were well-known for advocating for change in the world’s sanitation and other key areas.
Today, the Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers is a part of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors’ National Auxiliary. Their primary role is to continue lobbying for change and raise money for scholarships for students seeking to enter the trades.
Women in Modern Day Plumbing
While the field is still mostly dominated by male plumbers, women are making important headway. It is still one of the fields where women are most under-represented and may experience some pushback from folks set in their gender stereotypes. However, women should be encouraged to seek employment in this field. It pays well and offers excellent job security.
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