Are Women Going To Save Welding?

Are Women Going To Save Welding?


It’s a ravine. A big fat, deep ravine and no one knows how big it truly is. That ravine is the shortage of welders America is facing. Some experts are stating that within the next couple of years, America will have a shortage of around 200,000 skilled welders. The Welding Society projects that America will need at least 111,000 new welders in the next 5 years, numbers it’s not so likely to get. While the actual amount of the shortage is debatable, the question still falls down to the same thing: How is welding going to fill its growing ranks? Is there some untapped pool of potentially skilled laborers out there? I mean, you read this post’s title, you know where this is going.

It’s women. 40 years ago, some high schools and colleges didn’t even allow women into their welding or shop classes. It was assumed their skirts would get caught in the deadly machines. Although we’ve realized today that some of the best welders are women, they’ve still manage to slip through the cracks of the welding industry. Until now.

While only 3% of women currently make up the welding workforce, that number’s looking to change. Welding schools and groups are

working to knock down those gender barriers by dispelling some of the myths that surround women in welding.

For instance, can women weld just as well as men? Ask that to Trisha Haswood, a welder from Arizona. “I’m a good welder. As good as any guy.”

rosieTrisha graduated from Arizona Western College (AWC) Institute of Welding Technology with a strong passion for welding. Her determination to compete in a male-dominated industry has pushed her to become one of her school’s best welders.

So maybe women can weld just as well as men, but do they really fit into the welding environment of most shops and project sites? You know… A lot of dirty jokes told over the ol’ Bobcat generator. According to Palmor College welder instructor, Nancy Wood, it’s all about developing a thick skin and learning when to stand your ground. “Remember it is a man’s world you have chosen to work in, but you do not need to bow to harassment on any job.”

We need skilled welders with a real passion. A new influx of women into the welding field might be exactly what fills this industry’s growing number of positions. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.