Carpenter Veronica Session.

Photograph by Gary Schoichet, 2007.

“Doing Nails for a Living, With a Hammer,” was the title of a New York Times feature story about Veronica Session in June 2005 that described her role in ongoing efforts by advocates to increase job opportunities for women in construction.

The opening paragraph described an incident in the daily life of a female construction worker:

When Veronica Session was leaving work on a recent afternoon, she noticed a picture of a naked woman penciled on the wall. Ms. Session, a carpenter who was finishing an interiors job in Manhattan, said it was common practice for construction workers to scribble suggestive drawings on unprimed walls they know will soon be painted. As she has done many times before, rather than wait for the paint job, Ms. Session decided to grab a brush and paint over the image herself.

This propensity for direct action and a conscious awareness of the need to counter sexist depictions of women on construction sites places Veronica Session firmly within the tradition of the first women who entered these jobs, back when it was an all-male industry.

Session's feelings about her work are also in that tradition:

I like using my hands. I like making things. You get to build…And you can see what you've done at the end of the day.

© Copyright Labor Arts Inc.