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WOMEN AT WORK: KENDRA

 

What made you start doing the amazing things that you do?

When I was in elementary, my sister was going through her carpentry program, and one day in grade 5, I stumbled across small battery operated circuits! Played around, built a circuit, flipped the small switch and that small LED light turned on, and that was the beginning of my journey!

 

 What do you have to sacrifice to be good at what you do?

I often give up my free time, I sometimes work for my full-time job on Saturdays. Occasionally I'll do some extra work on the side to help out the company.
Recently I co-founded a non-profit Tools To Empower, and that takes up a lot of my spare time, and requires a lot of dedication.

Did you complete any training? If not, how did you learn your trade/skill?

I completed level 1 foundations, and ended up getting my first ticket before graduating high school! A couple years later did level 2, and still on my journey to getting my Red seal.

What are you great at, and what do you suck at? We all have strengths and shortcomings. Tell us about 'em.

I'm great at being given directions, lists of things to complete and asking questions. If there’s something I'm not sure about, I'll ask or clarify if that’s how the task should be completed.
One thing I'm terrible at is explaining a task to a fellow apprentice or explaining what I'm doing. I find I struggle to find the words to express it, and I often offer to do it for them so they can learn from me doing it instead of being confused by my word vomit!

What scares you?

Horses.. Everything about them gives me the heebie jeebies!

 

What do you want people to know about being a woman in your field?

We are at work to get a pay cheque as well, and if you give us a friendly hello, we won’t bite! We aren’t at work looking to cause problems, we are there to work, and do our job.

 

What are the top five things that are always in your pockets?

Knipex forged pliers ( linesmen/strippers hybrid) saves me so much time!
Wera mutli-screwdriver can't have too many bits!
A utility knife
Electrical tape, a sparky must-have!
And handfuls of 3-4 different types of Marrettes!

 

What are you doing when you’re not working hard?

Working hard at my non-profit, I co-founded with a few other tradeswoman named Tools To Empower! Organizing workshops, material prep, meetings, and designing.
Whenever I have free time I relax at home, watch some true crime shows or I go fishing!

 

How do you encourage other women to start doing what you do?

I advocate whenever I can, public speaking, sharing my journey, as well as with my non-profit we are encouraging trade-based workshops, such as for youth, crafts that use material on site, for example copper iPad stands.
For adults valuable skills such as how to repair drywall as steps to help familiarize individuals with tools, in hopes it sparks something in them.

 

Who’s a role model who helped you in your journey to where you are?

My sister, Justine (CarpenterJustine_) has helped me through my journey, and has been such an amazing role model to look up to. She is the one that showed me women can actually be in the skilled trades and kick butt!

 

Do you have any special projects or cool things you want people to check out?

My non-profit I co-founded with fellow tradeswomen, it's called 'Tools to Empower' and we have recently built a community cupboard for a local community!

 

What does workwear designed for women mean to you?

It is so important! I want to wear workwear that fits, comfortable, and has all the pockets I need. I often gravitate towards overalls so I don't have to worry about bending over or wearing a belt. If I'm comfortable at work, if I have pockets to fit all my tools and materials, it makes me more efficient and happier to do my job. Which is why I love Dovetail, and I recently found the secret pocket on the bib.. Game changer!


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