We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working in Construction (ILR Press Books)

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9780801486050: We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working in Construction (ILR Press Books)
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"For my very first day in union construction I was sent to a bank in downtown Boston where a journeyman needed a hand pulling wire. Arriving early with my new tools and pouch, I knocked on the glass door in the high-rise lobby and explained to the guard that I was a new apprentice working for the electrical contractor. He refused to let me in. So I sat down on the tile floor, my backpack and toolpouch beside me, and waited for the man whose name I had written down alongside the address and directions on a piece of paper: Dan. The guard explained to Dan later that he'd figured I was a terrorist planning to bomb the bank. In 1978, that seemed more likely than that I might actually be an apprentice electrician."Susan Eisenberg began her apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, the year President Jimmy Carter set goals and timetables for the hiring of women on federally assisted construction projects and for the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programs. Eisenberg expected not only a challenging job and the camaraderie of a labor union but also the chance to be part of a historic transformation, social and economic, that would make the construction trades accessible to women.That transformation did not happen. In this book, full of the raw drama and humor found on a construction site, Eisenberg gracefully weaves the voices of thirty women who worked as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, and plumbers to examine why their numbers remained small. Speaking as if to a friend, women recall their decisions to enter the trades, their first days on the job, and their strategies to gain training and acceptance. They assess, with thought, passion, and twenty years' perspective, the affirmative action efforts. Eisenberg ends with a discussion of the practices and policies that would be required to uproot gender barriers where they are deeply embedded in the organization and culture of the workplace.

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Review:

"The unexpected book, about subjects neglected and out of fashion, is often the very book we had been hoping for, although we didn't know it. Such a book is We'll Call You if We Need You. . . .This is an inspirational and life-affirming book. . . . Eisenberg, who herself began an apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, tells the story through interviews with 30 women--carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, and plumbers. . . . This book is constructed so skillfully that the reader is kept constantly engaged."--Samuel C. Florman, New York Times Book Review

"Eye-opening and often disturbing, this is a fine study on the limits of affirmative action that can be appreciated by lay readers and scholars alike."--Library Journal

"A frustrating, coming of age narrative about women still struggling to secure their place in the construction trades. . . . The strength of We'll Call You If We Need You . . . is the nuanced composite picture it assembles of tradeswomen's experiences. . . . Eisenberg makes a persuasive case for beefing-up affirmative action guidelines and revising archaic union apprenticeship programs that were designed with 18-year old men in mind."--Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

"A splendid book that weaves together oral histories of thirty women from ten states plus the District of Columbia. . . . At a time when affirmative action is practically an insult, Susan Eisenberg's book unashamedly demonstrates that 'affirmative action works, and more of it works better.'"--Pat Cooper, Women's Review of Books

"Eisenberg interviewed 30 women, from Seattle to Boston, who were pioneers in the skilled trade fields. . . . The book is told mostly in their eloquent words."--Jane Slaughter, Ithaca Times

"The interviews with construction workers in We'll Call You If We Need You contain many telling anecdotes."--Feminist Collections

"A powerful volume. This book is superior in its organization, integrating a wide and diverse group of women's experience and moving thematically from the decision to enter the trade, through apprenticeship training into journey person status."--Elaine Bernard, Executive Director, Harvard Trade Union Program

"This book is a pathbreaking account of an important group of women who responded to legally mandated opportunities in an important occupational category: construction. Eisenberg's expert oral interviews tell us about all aspects of the lives of women involved in construction trades, and her respect for her subjects comes through clearly on every page. The experience of reading the book is an elevating one not only because we are learning about an aspect of recent American history that is entirely new, but also because we are learning about human resilience and courage."--Kathryn Kish Sklar, State University of New York, Binghamton

"Women in construction have had a lot of culture cracking to do. Society hates those of us who are charm school dropouts. Read about their battles and cheer!"--Pat Schroeder, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers

"Eisenberg captures the strength and intelligence of tradeswomen through the simplest of devices--hanging back. She comes in only to introduce and frame their voices--with clarification, personal accounts, a bit of history or context. . . . Eisenberg's book engenders a new respect for the women in the trades and the difficult work they do. To read this book is to never look at a building or a bridge the same way again; it is to realize that erecting the infrastructure of American society is not a job for wimps--especially when doing so requires you to go the extra mile working with men who don't want you there."--The Progressive

Synopsis:

Susan Eisenberg began her apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, the year President Jimmy Carter set goals and timetables for the hiring of women on federally assisted construction projects and for the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programmes. Eisenberg expected not only a challenging job and the camaraderie of a labour union but also the chance to be part of a historic transformation, social and economic, which would make the construction trades accessible to women. That transformation did not happen. In this book, Eisenberg weaves the voices of 30 women who worked as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters and plumbers to examine why their numbers remained small. Speaking as if to a friend, the women recall their decisions to enter the trades, their first days on the job and their strategies to gain training and acceptance. They assess, with thought, passion and 20 years perspective, the affirmative action efforts. The author ends with a discussion of the practices and policies that would be required to uproot gender barriers where they are deeply embedded in the organization and culture of the workplace.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780801433603: We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working in Construction (ILR Press Books)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0801433606 ISBN 13:  9780801433603
Publisher: Cornell University Press, 1998
Hardcover

9781501719769: We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction

ILR Press, 2018
Softcover

9781501724930: We'll Call You If We Need You: Experiences of Women Working Construction

ILR Press, 2018
Hardcover

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. For my very first day in union construction I was sent to a bank in downtown Boston where a journeyman needed a hand pulling wire. Arriving early with my new tools and pouch, I knocked on the glass door in the high-rise lobby and explained to the guard that I was a new apprentice working for the electrical contractor. He refused to let me in. So I sat down on the tile floor, my backpack and toolpouch beside me, and waited for the man whose name I had written down alongside the address and directions on a piece of paper: Dan. The guard explained to Dan later that he d figured I was a terrorist planning to bomb the bank. In 1978, that seemed more likely than that I might actually be an apprentice electrician. Susan Eisenberg began her apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, the year President Jimmy Carter set goals and timetables for the hiring of women on federally assisted construction projects and for the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programs. Eisenberg expected not only a challenging job and the camaraderie of a labor union but also the chance to be part of a historic transformation, social and economic, that would make the construction trades accessible to women.That transformation did not happen. In this book, full of the raw drama and humor found on a construction site, Eisenberg gracefully weaves the voices of thirty women who worked as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, and plumbers to examine why their numbers remained small. Speaking as if to a friend, women recall their decisions to enter the trades, their first days on the job, and their strategies to gain training and acceptance. They assess, with thought, passion, and twenty years perspective, the affirmative action efforts. Eisenberg ends with a discussion of the practices and policies that would be required to uproot gender barriers where they are deeply embedded in the organization and culture of the workplace. Seller Inventory # AAV9780801486050

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. For my very first day in union construction I was sent to a bank in downtown Boston where a journeyman needed a hand pulling wire. Arriving early with my new tools and pouch, I knocked on the glass door in the high-rise lobby and explained to the guard that I was a new apprentice working for the electrical contractor. He refused to let me in. So I sat down on the tile floor, my backpack and toolpouch beside me, and waited for the man whose name I had written down alongside the address and directions on a piece of paper: Dan. The guard explained to Dan later that he d figured I was a terrorist planning to bomb the bank. In 1978, that seemed more likely than that I might actually be an apprentice electrician. Susan Eisenberg began her apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, the year President Jimmy Carter set goals and timetables for the hiring of women on federally assisted construction projects and for the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programs. Eisenberg expected not only a challenging job and the camaraderie of a labor union but also the chance to be part of a historic transformation, social and economic, that would make the construction trades accessible to women.That transformation did not happen. In this book, full of the raw drama and humor found on a construction site, Eisenberg gracefully weaves the voices of thirty women who worked as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, and plumbers to examine why their numbers remained small. Speaking as if to a friend, women recall their decisions to enter the trades, their first days on the job, and their strategies to gain training and acceptance. They assess, with thought, passion, and twenty years perspective, the affirmative action efforts. Eisenberg ends with a discussion of the practices and policies that would be required to uproot gender barriers where they are deeply embedded in the organization and culture of the workplace. Seller Inventory # AAV9780801486050

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. For my very first day in union construction I was sent to a bank in downtown Boston where a journeyman needed a hand pulling wire. Arriving early with my new tools and pouch, I knocked on the glass door in the high-rise lobby and explained to the guard that I was a new apprentice working for the electrical contractor. He refused to let me in. So I sat down on the tile floor, my backpack and toolpouch beside me, and waited for the man whose name I had written down alongside the address and directions on a piece of paper: Dan. The guard explained to Dan later that he d figured I was a terrorist planning to bomb the bank. In 1978, that seemed more likely than that I might actually be an apprentice electrician. Susan Eisenberg began her apprenticeship with Local 103 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1978, the year President Jimmy Carter set goals and timetables for the hiring of women on federally assisted construction projects and for the inclusion of women in apprenticeship programs. Eisenberg expected not only a challenging job and the camaraderie of a labor union but also the chance to be part of a historic transformation, social and economic, that would make the construction trades accessible to women.That transformation did not happen. In this book, full of the raw drama and humor found on a construction site, Eisenberg gracefully weaves the voices of thirty women who worked as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, painters, and plumbers to examine why their numbers remained small. Speaking as if to a friend, women recall their decisions to enter the trades, their first days on the job, and their strategies to gain training and acceptance. They assess, with thought, passion, and twenty years perspective, the affirmative action efforts. Eisenberg ends with a discussion of the practices and policies that would be required to uproot gender barriers where they are deeply embedded in the organization and culture of the workplace. Seller Inventory # LIE9780801486050

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