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Observe Women's History Month With These Plumbing Facts

woman checking plumbing issues

Women’s Contributions To the Plumbing Industry

Of the three main trades, electrical, HVAC, and plumbing, all are considerably staffed by men. Somewhere along the way, this work became synonymous with a “man’s work.” As pervasive as this conception is, it doesn’t detract from the accomplishments and contributions that women have made to their various trades over the years. 

The field of plumbing is no different. Men dominate the plumbing industry of today. The Department of Labor estimates that women occupy only around 5% of the jobs in plumbing. However, historically women have made important strides in breaking into this male-dominated profession. This Women’s History Month, learn about the important achievements of women in the plumbing industry. 

The Pretty Plumber

Pretty plumber

The first female master plumber got licensed back in 1951 when most women were occupied around the home. Lilian Baumbach was the daughter of a plumber, and she learned at a young age that she enjoyed the work. Since her father owned the company, she began accompanying him to the job site. Not content to only work on the easy stuff, she wore coveralls and contributed just like her male coworkers.

She completed her on-the-job training with her father’s company and attended his weekly classes in preparation for the master’s test. She passed her test on the first try with six other students, only two of whom passed.

The Ladies Auxiliary Committee

ladies committee

The National Plumbers Association was one of the nation’s first gatherings of people in the plumbing industry. In the early 1900s, they began having large gatherings for conferences. During these gatherings, wives would travel with their husbands but would do other activities during the conference. Thus, the Ladies Auxiliary Committee was formed. 

At first, it was run solely by men who planned entertaining activities for their wives during meetings. But, in the late 1910s, leadership was turned over to women. They quickly began to organize to become a group dedicated to the improvement of society. Because of the clout of their parent organization, they could influence sanitation problems on a larger scale. Many of the health codes that keep people safe today were first pushed by the Ladies Auxiliary Committee. For example, toilets and washroom facilities weren’t required in rest stops and restaurants in the early days. The committee partnered with companies like Texaco to ensure they had sanitation facilities available to their customers.

Present Day Contributions

While the plumbing industry remains a male-majority industry, the women who occupy these roles have various jobs. The majority of women in the plumbing industry are in leadership or ownership roles. Many operate their companies in the role of master plumbers. 

While plumbing decades ago was physically demanding, the job has become more approachable to people not desire physical work. Materials are lighter, and plumbing codes have made jobs easier. In short, many of the things that make plumbing undesirable to women are not representative of the type of work that plumbers now do. The industry is more accessible to women than ever, and with high growth rates, plumbing is expected to be one of the most stable jobs in the decades to come. 

About C & D Plumbing Inc.

C & D Plumbing Inc. provides expert solutions to the people of Fort Lauderdale. Providing residential and commercial services, they are qualified to solve any problem. Additionally, they guarantee their services for their customers’ peace of mind. Call now for plumbing services.