'You Have to Have a Certain Amount of Toughness' -- 20 Questions for Women in Construction

By Nani Noverita

Hard Hats. Strong Women. Building the Future.

Follow our blog to hear the stories of women working in construction in New York City at every level as we ask 20 questions to women working in construction.

Nani Noverita, Metal Lather Local 46, First Year Apprentice

What was your first job in construction? Helping my Dad build a driveway and pouring the concrete. I was 10 or 12 years old.

What is your current job? Metal Lathers and Reinforcing Iron-workers Local 46.

What job do you want in the future? The same one I have now and just add welder to my repertoire.

Are you in a union? What is the best part of being in a union? Yes, I am. You have a retirement, a pension, and benefits.

Why did you choose construction? What led you to construction? I like creating and building. I leave a legacy behind and am part of history. Seeing the pictures of iron-workers in the late 1920's having lunch on an iron beam -- that building stands today, Empire State Building.

When did you realize you wanted to work in construction? When I was in my 20's and a single mom I was welding.

Is there someone in particular in your life that led you to this career? My Dad and my amazing husband who is a union plumber.

Who inspires you? Rosie the Riveter and every woman since then.

What has been the most surprising part of being a woman working in construction? We are in the 21st century and less than 10 percent of workers are women in the construction industry.

What is your favorite part of your career? Being a woman in a predominately male job and being successful at it!

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in construction? Being kind and gentle and maintaining your femininity. You have to have a certain amount of toughness be hard around the edges.

What advice would you give someone starting out? Love the job you do and be proud that you made it.

What is your favorite hard hat sticker? Proud to be Union. Local 46 Lather.

What is your most valuable certification? What was the most challenging? Getting my welding certificates. Having to wait until I have earned my place and getting further along in my apprenticeship.

What would surprise us about you? I will be 44 years old in November and I do not look my age.

Tell us "What is your favorite hard hat sticker"?

Help us prepare more women for these careers -- support NEW on JobRaising.