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One Rouge Community Check -In - Week 146

Did you know that wo men have gained more jobs than men for 4 straight months in 2023? It is amazing because Coronavirus deeply impacted women-dominated jobs. Although women have made gains in “male-dominated” roles, those gains have not meant equality. Male-dominated means the occupation is comprised of less than 25% or fewer women. We know areas like mechanics, construction, and IT are male-dominated. We also know that women are making gains in fields like law, veterinary medicine, sports, and even sales. But what does it cost and is it even worth the trade? Women are responsible for putting their co-workers at ease and pay a social price for consorting with women, not of the same professional echelon. Despite the plethora of advice that is available to women on how to thrive in a male-dominated workspace, women who “make it” are branded as difficult or worse. And the pay gaps happen to be the largest in several of the occupations where women are making gains even though gender-specific jobs seem to be diminishing. Join us Friday as we hear from our featured speakers:

  • Tracie L. Washington, MPA, JD, MBA - Director of Title IX Compliance and Title IX Coordinator, Southern University Law Center

  • Amanda Stanley - WIOA Chief Administrator, Board Director Workforce Development Board 21

  • Morgan Miller-Udoh – Walls Program Coordinator, Public Art & Placemaking, Artist, Creative Entrepreneur

Enlight, Unite, & Ignite!



Amanda Stanley: Hey, I am Amanda Stanley. I am the area of director for East Baton Rouge Parish for Workforce Development and Employee BR so we serve the most underserved population with regards to employment opportunities and further educational opportunities to get that high wage, high demand employment. And then Pepper can I'm going to discuss, so Pepper reached out to me. One of the areas in that high demand, high wage employment is the construction industry. And when we look at women's participation in the construction industry, a lot of research this past week went down a couple rabbit holes and what we're at is we are at about 10.3% total women in the construction workforce. However, most of that figure is still women doing administrative work. So the number of women actually in trade positions, which would be like your welders, pipe, fitters, mill rights your actual on the job heavy duty industrial work is still significantly. then when we look at still in 2000, what, 2023, the number one issue that women have in the construction industry is still discrimination and sexual harassment. The needle still hasn't moved from where we were 20, 40, 60 years ago as far as what women face when they're out in the field with, in these male dominated industries, especially construction. And then another thing and a lot of this I've actually seen in my former role in higher education designing training programs for heavy industrial programs is that there is a lack of mentors and role models for those trades women to model after to move up. So for example, when I was at the local community college, we did an initiative with Dow called Women and Welding. So we had a selection process, but we did two classes where it was all women focused on welding to get these women into the construction field, high demand, high wage. However, we couldn't find a female welder to be the instructor for that class. So we had women in welding program, but we still had to rely on a male instructor to do the instruction because we could not find a female welder to be the instructor for that. And I reached out to other institutions. I reached out to our industry partners. I tried to reach out to different women in construction networks. And I was at that institution for 10 years. We've had one female welding instructor, and all that time we have had no female pipe fitters mill rights. Electrical N D T instructors at all. And then enrollment in those programs for women is very low. Even though that was a goal of mine when I was there, I wanted like women in welding, for example, and men in medical assistant, because at the small campus I was at in New Roads, women would typically enroll in our medical assistant class. Men would enroll in the welding and then I would try and say, Hey we can broaden both of your horizons. You don't have to go this track or this track. Let's discuss it a little more. And it was always interesting in that there was always some other influences as well that impacted where those guys and gals would end up. And I know I'm not going to go too much longer. Pepper, I don't want to take all the time. But even in my language, when I was at my community college, when my instructors or different administration would talk, they would always talk about the guys, oh, our guys this and our guys that. So I started saying guys and gals just to at least include the females in what we're doing. And even now, it's hard to change that. I still will always say guys and gals, even though that might not be the most inclusive language at this point, but only because it seems so focused on just the men the guys. And what we're doing is there's a huge need for tradespeople in the state, in the nation, but the trajectory is we're cutting out women from this high demand, high wage potential to the detriment of the state of us, our economy, and to these women that could be accessing these opportunities for higher pay, more flexible pay, and a trajectory that they might not get if they were just a medical assistant. Because that's what's expected, because they're women. That's my soapbox.

Traci Washington: Once you hit the prime age of 59, how many hats do you get to wear? My name's Tracy Washington. My big title around here is Lili, because that's what my grandkids call me. I am the, I'm trying to get a little bit of glare off that. There we go. I think that's a little bit better. Now, I am currently served as the director of Title IX compliance slash Title IX coordinator for Southern University Law Center. I'm trying to make all of the popups stop coming up when people join in and chat. So I have that sort of, as I call it the daytime gig, right? and I'm sorry, they're just so many things that pop up on your computer and the chats keep popping up and I'm trying not to make that a distraction. I'm also the executive director of Louisiana Justice Institute, which is a nonprofit, civil rights legal advocacy organ organization and law firm. And we foster support and advocate for black and brown communities in the state of Louisiana. And then various other things, including a consulting firm called Higher Brown Consultants Square. I consult with school districts and particularly charter school organizations to try to keep them compliant. And educating our kids. And finally, my most favorite thing in the world to do is I'm staying in my kitchen and baking and catering. And so, I think I'm here today to talk a little bit, however, about a big issue of important, especially last year after we celebrated our 50th anniversary pepper, which is Title IX. Even up until last year, which was the 50th anniversary guys, and it was big rollout, 50th anniversary of Title IX, we still get questions about what is Title IX right? And I have to tell folks, because it's been of so much important for so many people who didn't even know that it existed, especially women in higher education. And when I share with them that it's simply 37 words, right? And I always say it's 37 words and I used to have it memorized. I don't have it memorized anymore, so if you'll excuse me and I will pop up with them just so that folks here spec specifically what it is. And it says, no person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. So if I'll piggy back just for a second off our last speaker, one of the reasons why there's been so much and there was such a put in so much funding out there for a while for. Women who needed to, or we wanted to push into the welding industries or into any of the trades industries, plumbing carpentry things at our community colleges is because of Evan by a junior who pushed forward title IX in 1971 and 1972. Final fun fact. Why was Evan Va this Democrat so interested in and jazzed on Title IX? He recounted this story and I happened to be in his presence once, just serendipity, where he counted the story of sitting at the breakfast table with his dad, who was the superintendent of public not public education, physical education in Washington DC at the time. And this was in 1940s. and he was going to testify before Congress about funding for girls PE for the Washington DC area. And Evan Junior said to his dad, what are you going to tell 'em? And he says, I'm going to tell them that women, little girls need to be, have strong bodies so that they can carry their strong heads and big brains. This was in 1940s, guys. Come on. 1940s. And that stayed with Evan by, until he got to the Senate, and he made sure that we got this law passed. Now we've had tons of amendments to it, right? And we've, yeah, we got to keep lifting up these big old heads and brains and we've had to fight a lot as you can probably imagine, to keep. Title nine relevant. We hear about it now though. And you tell me Pepper, if I start to go along, we hear about it now much more and sadly because of sexual harassment and sex discrimination and not so much on that positive side of getting women into sports, getting new programs where women were untraditionally underrepresented. But we still need to fight those areas, right? And we still need to get women's brains strong around the fact that their bodies are strong for a reason and they have to, and they have to be out there. They, we have to be out there indicating, I'm around. I'm right now. It's so funny because these students will tell me, they'll never guess. Or they'll say they never guess your age. And I don't have a problem telling how older, they're like, you, professor Washington, I'm at the law center, professor Washington. They're older than my mom. And I'm like, okay. I'm not going to find in your favor for the sexual harassment. You'll get harass and you'll get harass. No. Tease me. The we got to get these students, male and female and non-binary, understanding this vessel needs to be respected. And that's and that's at the core, that's at our core of titles IX, respecting our bodies and demanding equality regardless of gender. So, guess what? If you are a guy and you want to do synchronized swimming at your college and there's just a female synchronized swim class, you put on that suit dog on it and you hop in that pool. You get every right to synchronize swim. I use that example. I'm also in the PhD program at Southern and I talk about policy now a lot more than I talk about law when I'm there in the program and they're like male synchronized swimmers. And I said, Hey, I attended Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and we had male synchronized swimmers.

Morgan Udoh: Hello everyone. I am Morgan Udoh. I am a general tinkerer, creative and small business owner and a gentle parent, conscious parent to two, three amazing little girls. And I'm sorry, I'm just taken aback by what Professor Washington said at the end. Yes. Respect this vessel, period. That's it. No binary needs to be attached to it. But yeah. On the small business side, you are your only protection. I my body's ability to produce labor that I can exchange for capital is my sole protection as a small business owner. And because we do not have robust public support systems around childcare kinship care, food security, affordable housing an F M L A system that extends beyond just the birthing parent and extends beyond W two status generally. It is, it's hard out here really and truly. And as we think about how we can create a system that works better for all of us because when you lift up women and lift up birthing parents, you lift up economies, period. Because we are the bears of culture, we are the ones that maintain community cohesion typically. We are the ones that maintain the family bonds typically. And those. Smaller bonds lend to our larger systemic bonds within a nation. I'm sorry, I'm just, I want to get right into what's going wrong and what, how we need to fit. Can I? Okay. So all of this, all of these frustrations that we are having around gender inclusivity and Title IX and these small little battles that we keep fighting are a symptom of our refusal to accept gender theory, gender queer theory until our society is willing to let go of its bigoted view of the human experience. And willing to let go of our patriarchal way of structuring society from our language to the way we write our job descriptions, to the way we set up payroll, the way we set up the workday, nine to five, and how that coincides with a school day. We're fighting these little battles that could be mitigated from birth in the way we socialize the next generation. As someone who is a conscious parent, the way I speak to my girls assuming they're girls at this point is gender expansive at all times. When I'm around the house, I, mommy's not just cleaning. Mommy is doing carpentry. Mommy is working on her car. Dad is cleaning, dad is cooking, dad is doing the dishes. The books that we read talk about a wide range of professions, a wide range of interests. They talk about the, a wide range of the human body, what it can look like, your body, my body, their body. All of them are good bodies, and how we function inside of society is expansive. And we have to change the way we socialize this generation so that they are more willing to go out for those jobs that they historically have not been included in. And they are more likely to advocate for others who are not in those spaces, to be in those spaces. When they get in a position of hiring, they're not just going to look for Joe and Brad and Chad. They're going to look for Amy and Xavier and X. That's what has to change. We have to start from the very beginning if we want to see systemic change or we're constantly going to be fighting against ourselves.

Pepper Roussel: One of the questions that I had, let me turn off my timer. And one of the questions that I had is really around the legality of the Acts that have been passed, and what have we gained, right? So we have black women in particular that are the most over overeducated and overqualified, but the most underpaid. Has Title IX helped? We've got we've got moms who can't necessarily get to these jobs, right? As Morgan just mentioned, because jobs are nine to five, or either if you're doing shift work how can moms manage these moments of y Just, there's nobody there in the middle. And at the very least we've only had the ability to be entrepreneurial to street legal entrepreneurs since the seventies, right? When you could have credit without your husband, when you could have a bank account on your own, right? So all of these things that we have done in order to move women forward from a pl from a place where we didn't have, what, where are we now? What have we gained? Go ahead, Tracy. I'm, yeah, you are Morgan over here on the same side of my screen.

Traci Washington: I'll relay this very briefly. My mom started working in as a teacher in January, 1964. Now, she graduated Dillard University guys in the spring of 1963. I like to always say that I walked the oaks with my mom. She and my dad were married in December of 1962. But the point of that story is that she could not begin working until January of 1963, right? Because back in 1963, if you were showing your pregnancy, you could not work as a teacher. I don't know how the kids, they didn't want kids to see pregnant women. I guess they wanted kids to just think that, I don't know where they popped from. at that time, 1964, I found documents in old contracts that she kept, that showed women were paid $2,000 a year, listened to me, $2,000 a year, less than the male teachers doing exactly the same thing regardless of how your ranking in college, right? My mom came out and she was in that first class, recruited for the Peace Corps. Her parent her aunt told her, Uhuh, Geraldine, no Uhuh. You going to marry that man first because you already 21 years old and you don't have a husband. Now, why am I relaying that story? There is a point. Yes, we have come far, but I had a mom who was a cheerleader. She was like, you'll go ahead and get those degrees. I don't know if she'd be like, okay, Teresa, if you working on your fourth graduate degree, but go ahead and get those degrees and you'd be a cheerleader. And I always saw her as a cheerleader in her positions in education. I never saw her as a person who said I had it this hard. And so you are going to have to have it as hard as I do coming up the ladder. And unfortunately, I see Morgan far too much of that. I struggled with my daycare for my child and therefore I'm not going to have childcare resources here on my job. I opened Louisiana Justice Institute. I said, bring your children and your dogs. They can entertain each other. I don't care. Get your work done. You got to get your work done here. You got to get it done there. I've got some time to watch your kids. I don't care. We, my point is we have to rely upon us. And I don't mean just women I even men, non-binary who are with it. To bring us up because if we're going to rely upon that, what I'm seeing in society right now is this horrible trend to want to revert to the good old days. And I'm like, guys, good old days. What good for black women? Watch the help. Why? I'll never clean it. Like my grandmothers were domestics never going to happen. Not that there's anything wrong with it. Cause you pay your housekeeper well, she's doing well, we got to do this right. And for the small business owners, finally, for the small business owners and with Nola Goodies, my catering company, I'm a, I'm an entrepreneur. You got to pay these people. And I tell folks all the time, and Morgan, you better be demanding it if they're getting it on Magazine Street, if they're getting it on St. Charles Avenue and on Canal Street, you best believe you better be able to be paying that artist in the Lord Ninth Ward. The exact same thing, if not me. And I tell young entrepreneurs, young artists, yeah. When they say, oh, I get this. Oh, miss Tracy, I'm a discharge. I said, no. I'm going to pay you what the going rate is. Final thing. I promise I won't even speak for the rest of the time. Promise. I heard this a lot this week. I don't know if I want to file a complaint because I don't want to mess up his. I'm emotional about this because they always say put on your mask first. And I'm just concerned that we've got a generation of young women in their twenties right now who are not thinking that way. And we just got to make them, we got to make them do it kicking and screaming. I'm a trial lawyer. I talk.

Pepper Roussel: Yes. To a comment in the chat. Yes. I wanted all the smoke this morning. That's why these three ladies are here. All of the smoke, all of its,

Morgan Udoh: It all goes back to how we are socialized from birth, and we are, we social. I have all the smoke. For my men folk because I love y'all and you can do better. But I also very often feel such sadness for those who identify as cis men in society because you are truly locked out of so much the human experience and so much of interpersonal relation because of how we have set up our society and this very thin margins that we allow you to operate in. And that does not include nurturing. It does not include a heavy focus on community outside of being the singular leader of that community, not from a care supports perspective, but being the leader of that community. And that is a heavy load to bear, and it is an individualistic load to bear that does not produce. Societies that are moving forward together. And just creates these silos from which we all are trying to work towards our own individual successes when we could be moving forward together. It's very sad. I'm sorry, remind me of the question again.

Pepper Roussel: I took my mute too soon. That was my fault. Completely my fault. We were just talking the games, right? So, we've got these we've got laws that are in place for some arenas, so workforce and academia. But we find that in many ways we have not made a lot of strides, right? You as an entrepreneur would not have been able to get credit or even a bank account and within the last 50 years, right? What should we be doing? How can we move forward? It looking strictly from a very solution-based answer. I'm seeing a lot of loophole abuse. And it can be, it's similar to how when you consider like government contracts or large scale contracts, how they now have to make sure that they are offering a certain amount of contracts to marginalized groups.

Morgan Udoh: It was racial, now it's gender. But the way in which we're meeting that expectation is you have these large male and non iPOC led industries that has historically been at the top. Now what they're doing is that they're just subcontracting through a business that has a an owner operator from a marginalized group and that meets the need. They're still getting the primary bit of the contract, but they've tossed on some representation and that's where we're seeing in all the industries, we're seeing a whole lot of empty representation. Yeah. Which, every range of the human experience, color, creed, sexuality, gender, et cetera, in the space. But they are not going to lead it. They are not going to have any true power in that space because at the end of the day, those who have been in power want to maintain that power. They'll shift with the optics to look better, but they have to be in charge. They must stay in charge by any means. And if we do get one or two up there in the top ranks, they are socialized in a way that they will maintain that same structure going forward.

Traci Washington: We had that when I was general counsel at capital Metro in Austin and when we were contracting, and this is something that you always should be, can be looking out for. And this was, let me see my, it was 30 years ago when I was doing that General counsel work. and husbands would put wives into quote businesses that would then be subcontracting. Amanda's shaking her head, she knows. And so, then they would be the owners of the of these smaller businesses that were subcontracting. Say for instance, now you own the company that does the upholstering for the buses, but they weren't actually doing it. And so, it took my investigators going out and looking. But you have to have a conscious procurement director and a general counsel and whomever to then make those people non-compliant and then get them taken off lists. And it costs money to have that done. But if you have the type of people in those organizations, who will do it? Jesse and Morgan, those are the faces I'm seeing up. It can be done. But you're absolutely right. It's been going on. I just wanted to share for a very long time.

Pepper Roussel: That actually brings me to Amanda, I think we sent this out. and the reminder that women have become responsible for the culture of the work flip place, right? So especially if they're in male dominated spaces, that they're responsible for making everyone around them comfortable, that they get punished for consorting with the enemy, right? So, talking or having relationships with women who are not on the same professional level. And there's also there was a note that was left by, left in the chat about the contractors association in the early nineties and how women, young women like the salary, but they didn't like the climate, right? So help the Can you provide a little context around what it is that we are seeing now? I think most of us know where we've come from, but what can we be doing going forward? Especially since we are still excited about women and welding.

Amanda Stanley: Yeah, women in welding, women pipe bidding, women in welding has that alliteration everybody likes. So as far as and a lot of this is anecdotally what my students who have, my former students that were women who have gone out in the field, a lot of 'em don't stay. And they'll tell me they just cannot either. They can't manage their childcare because of the shift work. When there's not a set schedule every week or what have you and the hours that are there. Especially if you don't have family support, that is a big barrier. And then a lot of times it's still a good old boy network, which is still documented in a lot of the research I just did. And that's still a main barrier. I think Jen just put in, heard the chat. She found that even just in a doing some sculpture work, which is more of an artistic field, there's still a lot of discrimination where women can't even be included in the job sites, in the conversations that men have that will bond the team together and then also read to those higher positions. The other thing that we I think really needs to be done is there is a lot in high schools. So I'm out in Pointe Coupee, a lot of the high schools there will have welding and carpentry shops. They'll have a class for that. When I've gone and spoken to those classes or had them come onto the campus I was at, there was never any girls that came with those programs to see the interest. And when I would ask the principals and school administrators most of the time it's they're just not interested. and I'm like why? But how do you know if you're not inviting them to the space to see, because you don't know what you don't know? Especially when we would have a simulator that our guys and gals could try to just even see if that's a skill that they could do, especially with hand eye coordination. Women are better generally with hand-eye coordination. Welding's a very hand-eye coordination skill. But if I were to do an open house for medical assistant, all the women would be there so it really is exposing the girls, young girls to construction, to mechanics to, to just those basic skills that boys get just by virtue of being boys we've explored when I was at the college, like doing a women's only or a girls only mechanic class so that the girls, local high school girls or whatever could come and learn how to change the oil. How to change a tire, how to check all your basics. And it seemed basic oh, why do you need a class for that? My dad didn't teach me that. I'm a single parent. I'm not teaching my girls that. However, they should know that because they shouldn't have to rely on somebody else to do it for them. So that's one of the ways, is really pushing our secondary schools to get more women, more females involved in those non-traditional fields. It's beneficial for them too, especially if they get Perkins dollars, because those non-traditional fields can lead to more federal funds through your Coral Perkins and other avenues. So you can make it a win-win. And then not only that is when we're looking at flexibility, childcare I feel like these big organizations, these big companies, can figure out childcare. I feel like they could have some big care on site. or vouchers or I don't think that this is the heavy lift that we assume it is because if you have a whole those plants are a whole city. When they're fully staffed, you can't tell me you wouldn't, you can't put a childcare center on site and not have it be successful. So those are just some of the things I would hope we move towards as we're moving into the next 30 years.

Traci Washington: If you can have a restaurant, you can have a childcare. That's what I tell folks all the time. That's what I tell my clients. If you can feed us, then you can take care of our children. And guess what? Less employees and actually less liability exposures. Because food poisoning is real taking care of kids is taking care of kids. And Amanda you're absolutely 100% correct with regard to. that and may I add something for Morgan, because you asked a question about protections for small business owners. One of the things I like to promote is that small business owners I'm a small business owner. If you can get into an association, when I was a sole practitioner and I knew I was going to need health insurance because I'm a single mom and needed it for myself and my son, I made sure I was I got my insurance through the Bar Association because that was the only way where I could find insurance that was affordable because they were buying, obviously for a group, a lot of smaller practitioners. And so to the extent Morgan and Amanda there, you can tell folks that there may be associations, trade asso, trades associations out there that they can join. Yes, there's a fee, but the benefits that you may be able to receive from being part of one big group Could provide some relief for being a small business owner. Thank you, ma'am.

Pepper Roussel: Esperanza, before I get to the next question in the chat, you had something that you wanted to say. Where are you?

Esperanza Zenon: Yeah I don't know if my comment came through in the chat because the signal kind of got what I was what I posted was, someone spoke a moment ago about the good old boy network being thriving. My experience has been a lot of times that there's a good old girl network thrive that's thriving too. In a lot of instances when females are at the head or at the helm, they can be just as difficult and unwilling and uncaring as males and less supportive of other females that are trying to move their lives forward. I know that this is a progressive group and I'm grateful to be able to listen and learn from you this morning, but we can't just say automatically that when we get these women in these positions, everything's going to be better. I wonder about that sometimes. Cause they can take on the characteristics of them. Good old boys, sometimes better than them.

Morgan Udoh: That is the difference between representation and actual change. It's not just about putting people that look a certain way or fit a certain bill in position of power. They have to be outside of the structure. They have to be socialized different. I cannot tell you the amount of times that a woman in charge of the workplace has told me not to discuss. My pay has told me not to talk about certain things, but my coworker. To not discuss my bonuses, to not ask about certain payroll structures. Boy, do they close ranks when they get to a position at the top. I don't know if it's a hurt people type of deal, or if it's just a, I had to work this way and so you're going to do it as well. But it is caustic, it's plastic.

Pepper Roussel: I've always thought it was really just about socialization, right? So you in order to get along, you go along, right? So you learn how things work and then you see that's the way to move up the ladder and instead of changing the system that you work within the system thinking many of them have, and I, when I say them, I do mean anyone who has bought into the system of assimilation. Many of them have said that they can only make a change. By being within the system. You can't change something from without. You have to change it from within.

Traci Washington: But let me say this to you, Morgan. Now let me say this, because I've been in that position where I'm always going to be that outspoken one. Anybody who knows Tracy Washington knows I'm ask my best Rya Trinity. Now I try, I can't. But you've got to have the people who are still climbing. They're supporting you when you come out and you're outspoken for them. Because let me tell you something, they're not going to fire all the black women or all the black and brown women, but if y'all are scared, because Tracy is trying to say, you're not paying, you're not paying my sister's. Right? And then everybody goes scatters like, oh no that's happened to me. I cannot tell you Esperanza how many times that's happened to me. And yes, Morgan collective bargaining, I'm 100% for it. But until such time, because there's a lot of movement reverting, reversion, not wanting collective bargaining and collective bargaining raises all boats. We got to stand together guys. And that's my point. We just have to stand together. And sometimes with that, when that woman is up top and you're thinking, she's not trying to help let her know. She doesn't have to be scared that we've got our back. Hey, you are the chief financial officer now, we still got your back. As though you were wearing an account. Executive lonely at the top. Yes.

Pepper Roussel: so much that, and so I, before we start getting too short on time, I want to make sure, and I did see your question, Amanda, and I agree with you. I think that that it is a matter of being mentored and not, I'm not saying it's right, so you don't gimme the tisk finger that they take on those characteristics even though they shouldn't. I Do you want to, the, there's been a couple of points public moments in the chat where they're. where we've circled to our new neighbors, right? So immigrant women, whether they are working in non-traditional or even traditional roles, how vulnerable they end up being. Whether it's because they don't have the same protections or maybe it is a matter of not having the capacity for collective bargaining. And I would like to start with this idea of of the working in construction. And the question the one that I see most recently is, industrial construction's been harder on women for several reasons. Are there more women in housing or commercial building jobs?

Amanda Stanley: So from when I was doing this research this week, it, I didn't find really any figures on commercial and residential at all. It really was. Focused mainly on large scale industrial jobs. So I really don't know because even in the college, I was still very focused on industrial petrochemical field. And we move that way because based on our labor market information, we felt that the high demand, high wage was really focused on that petrochemical field for South Louisiana. So we, when we did try and explore commercial and residential, we didn't find that there was such a good fit.

Pam Wall: I would say the salaries are a lot higher in industrial construction. I also know from just my experience, and it could be different now because a lot, several years have passed, shall we say, is that, An industrial construction company gets a contract for a big project, let's say it's shell, and they hire a lot of people, they get it done, it's over, and then they lay off folks because they don't need 'em anymore, and then they go to another industrial construction company that might get the next contract. But it's always occurred to me that there are a lot of jobs that women could move into their own businesses if they worked in residential construction. Now, my experience in the last several years in living in relatively new developments in Baton Rouge is that Hispanic workers are the huge, there's big, a huge influx of Hispanic workers in housing because of the new, sort of the styles for stucco, for tile, for granite. They're just masters at this and maybe there's, there are fewer women because of that. But things like wallpaper Sheetrock finishing Sheetrock painting, there are a lot of jobs that women could do easily in home construction. There's a lot of home construction. But then also you all should know this if you don't, the largest barrier for employees in new employees in industrial construction is they like to hire a lot of these young men, but they can't pass the drug test. They don't understand that marijuana is a drug and it's going to show up. So that is a huge thing that we don't talk about a lot, but a huge percentage of people who apply. I'm not sure how many home and commercial construction companies, because they're usually a lot smaller, more of mom and pop, maybe. They may not do these drug tests just to comment. Because I really think that an easy way, easier way to get into construction would be the carpentry and the building. These houses that are in a lot of demand that are going up all around town. And those are usually family owned, kind of mom and pop types of businesses. At least that's how they start. But I don't know where the recruitment, if the, because I know there's an association here for those types of construction companies. I don't know if that's ever been on their agenda though, to look at how to hire more women because they usually do work nine to five. Types of jobs because of light and all those things.

Morgan Udoh: As someone who has now taken a very different avenue, a different path in the workplace I come from a family that's 80% military involved in like I have every branch in my family. That was the way in which my parents' generation found success within those structures. And then my generation found success by entering largely office-based workforce clerical, et cetera. And my father is a general tinkerer carpenter. He can drive anything. He can fix anything. I'm pretty sure he's had the same washer and dryer that my grandparents had way back in the sixties. He just keeps fixing that thing. And it's, I think about that dichotomy there where my brothers were encouraged to be tinkerers to work with their hands to try things out and fail. You can have all of these little small jobs where you are just a general laborer, but we don't encourage that with our girls. And I, I have this sneaking suspicion that it's because expect at the end of the day, if anyone's going to go out there and be innovative and try and possibly fail, we are much more comfortable with men doing that than we are with women because the soul position that we place women childbearing or not in this society, is that they have to be the ones to maintain the family unit no matter what. And so, there's that fear that's instilled from jump that I can't take too many risks. I can't try new things and fail because I have to make sure at the end of the day that this family is taken care of. And that family can be your own children. It could be your aging parents, it can be your siblings. Just think about when generations enter nursing homes and long-term care facilities, who is caring for them. You can have a family structure where there are only two girls in the latest generation and they're the ones taking care of every why do we socialize our family units? Why do we socialize society in that way? And then expect women to go out there and rah rah and you can do it all. No, I can't do it all. That's not good for my mental health. Why do I have to be the sole caregiver for everyone, but also the sole innovator to push things forward? How's that going to work? Why can't our men also be the primary caregivers? So that I have this space to innovate. I'm just tinkering.

Pepper Roussel: No, that sets up the a question that's in the chat. How can women navigate being given women's work, like hosting parties, getting supplies for the office, setting up rooms, et cetera? For anybody who's anybody on the panel this morning? You got thoughts,

Traci Washington: Ms. Pepper? I actually, I'm sorry, just one more time.

Alicia Richbourg: To piggyback off of Ms. Pam and Morgan. In the early two thousands, I had an all women construction company, Paul Painton and Plaster Services, and how I got in that particular industry, I found a development that a contractor had and was building houses. And actually it was development that I actually built my house in. And I started off as they needed someone to come in and clean after they build the homes. So when I got that contract with Jacob for Curry, which is one of the biggest con, one of the biggest contractors here in Baton Rouge, he allowed me to do that. But then I saw where there was a, in cleaning, there was other things that we can do. So I actually found a female carpenter, I found a female electrician. I found a female plumber I found, and I found a, I had a whole crew. And what we did is we went in and got the con. He would allow me, every development he would get, he would allow me to come in and paint and fix. Because some of the guys who weren't able like she said, they wouldn't show up. They get paid. And that was that. But coming from a military background as well, my parents always my dad always you have to do this and you have to know how to do that and you should know how to do this. And it basically taught me that you have to be multicultured and multistructured. You have to know how to do everything without a doubt. And. it almost cause because my mom was the person that stayed home. She was the homemaker and the nurturer and this, and dad was the provider. But he also saw that it was a need and a generation that didn't know how to do industrial things. That hey, the men sometime don't do or won't do, and you still need to know how to do that. In case he always said, what if I walk out the door? I need you to know how to do this. What if I your husband walk out the door? You don't know how to change attire. Hey. So those things, and I actually implemented those things in my daughters, and sometime it could actually be a harm because now they're so independent. So they I have to pray and tell 'em, you know what, Hey, don't be so hard on yourself. But because I, in. And I started that and say, you got to do this and you got to do that as well and know how. But the construction industry was a really good industry for me. But it was also when I went to other developments and they had other contractors along with the person who allowed me, you can feel the tension like what's she doing here? She'll know what she doing. I don't trust that because I was a female but didn't know. I had taken continuing ed classes through LSU to learn and know how to do a thing, but because I am a female, you don't know. They just automatically think you don't know.

Pepper Roussel: true words. I fully admit I don't know how to change attire, but I do have roadside assistance. Morgan.

Morgan Udoh: I just wanted to piggyback off what Alicia started. I feel like in the. Boomers raising millennial generation. We had a really great shift in our male parents ensuring that their girls, and I'm just going to word it the way they would had the skills of a man taking care of cars, et cetera, general carpentry or whatever. But that has just led to us now taking on multiple roles and being, and not being respected for either one of them. Where is this large-scale effort to teach our male presenting children, those who identify as male, the value and the skill of caregiving, of nurturing, of family care. I worry that we keep focusing so much on, on women and girls and fems and making sure that they have access to the binary male space without giving the opposite side of the coin. There's a lot of talk right now in society about all the women are so independent and whatever. And there's no, there's, it's hard with relationships now because there's a lack of social cohesion because women don't need us and they're doing everything themselves. We do need you assuming we're heteronormative. And, but you're not giving, you're not being given that same level of intention and expansion in your duties. We don't. Thank you. We don't even let boys play with dolls. How can they learn to nurture their children? How can they l learn to nor nurture their nieces and nephews? Where is this concerted effort to push men into home ec? Where is this concerted effort to make sure that they know that if the mom left the house, because we talk about, oh, what if the man left the house? What if the lady left the house? Do you know how to feed yourself? Do you know how to garden? Do you know? Are you confident in your toolkit of mental health resources to be able to handle grief? Can you handle grief care? Do you know how to set up a funeral? Do you know how to care for your elders through their end stage of life? Do you, are you confident in advocating for your family members in the medical space if something were to happen to them? Are you are you prepared for those types of skills? That typically we force women into

Traci Washington: Morgan, let me ask you something now. And it's not a pushback, it's just a, an ask. I was at a wedding I'm sorry, I was at a funeral wedding. A funeral. I was at a funeral last year and my oldest grandson, who was two and a half, almost three at the time, was playing with another kids there dolls. She just happened to be sitting on the floor. All the kids are playing. And then my cousin's grandson who's also the same age, she and I are the same generation. Her daughter is younger than my son. And their son came and was also sitting in the circle and she ripped him up and. And said, Uhuh, you don't play with dolls. That's how this all starts. And you would be surprised the number of women who were in that 25 to let me say 35-year-old age group who are at that funeral with kids who agreed with her. And I was mortified. So here it was, my son and daughter-in-law felt like what's wrong with us? Toys and toys at our house first come, first serve catches, catch can. I hadn't even thought about this. My racist plaintiff say we've got to also correct and feel comfortable and you more so because you are a that childbearing age. I'm not of correcting women who are doing this. And we are sitting around like it doesn't happen with young women and it is. It does.

Alicia Richbourg: Yes. They're all, and that's cause they're so afraid of, they have this social thing where, oh, I don't want him to play with dolls because I don't want him to be gay. But they taken the wrong, they've taken it the wrong way because I have a son. And of course he's the baby boy and he had three older sisters. So his father would say, oh, he can't be in there when they fixing they hair. He can't be in there when they make putting makeup on. And I was like he's just watching. You, but the male a man would be like, oh that's just, that's a no-no. You go in the other room, go find a football or something else to play. They just think that because. When you introduce a boy to something that a female does, it thinks they have this, they're going to be gay and not thinking this is a way that, hey, a mom has a baby. They nurture them, they hug them, they hold them, but they don't think that away. They think if he play with a doll baby, he's going to be gay. And that's with that age group. They don't even want their sons to cry. If they fall they don't want 'em to cry if they fall. That hurt they don't want them to show any type of emotions. But now understanding they actually are hurting them when it comes to their mental state because you are confusing them and not un they don't know what to be currently people tell me my son is gay. So they was say how do you feel about that? I said at the end of the day, he's still my son and I still have to love him. His life is his life and I don't condo him. But it is like, Hey, what can you do? When they choose to go another way and you train or teach them to do certain things, it's like at the end of the day, they are so wrapped up into society and what's going on in society and what they should look like and what they should be. It is just, we just in a sit, we in a world now where everybody is just doing what they want to do really.

Pepper Roussel: My personal opinion is that we spend far too much time being concerned about who is in somebody else's bed than our own.

Morgan Udoh: Oh, look there was a lot there. Yeah, I can I, and it's to the detriment of men because the patriarchy hurts men too. But yes, we have large swaths of female society that are, thank you. Consent is the only informed consent is the only thing that matters. Adults can do whatever they want. We have large swaps swaths of fem society that uphold these patriarchal norms in the name of bigotry. Bigotry and patriarchy go hand in hand. We cannot have feminism with bigotry. I it is, it's cognitive dissonance because how can you value womanhood? How can you value femininity and say there is strength in it and there and women can do whatever they want and them see those same feminine characteristics in men and shun it at the base of it. You don't actually value femininity, you are just giving. It is just talk. It's BS that when we actually value fems in all their forms, male body, female body, in between body, whatever, we won't have this division in the binary where in which we're struggling to get women in male spaces because there will be no different seen a male, a female, intersects non-binary. It won't matter because we won't be focused on gender. There will be value seen in both and we won't be trying to push one gender into these. Little puzzle pieces in the other, into other puzzle pieces because humanity in its the vessel itself will be respected. It's that simple.

Pepper Roussel: Respect the vessel. All right. Oh, we are, we've read a little bit long before y'all have to go on and live your lives that don't include me. I want to make sure to say a deep and heartfelt thank you to our panelists and for all of y'all for showing up this morning. This was a great conversation. It's one of the many that I've been so looking forward to in this month mainly because we are. Let me reframe that. I am learning to look at the same issue through a different lens. I am learning that there are different sides to this argument around women in workforce as well as the expansion of women through academia as well as entrepreneurship. So thank y'all so much for being here. There are a couple more questions in the chat. I will ask that y'all check out. There's one that I thought that was terribly interesting and that was really around the inflation reduction act and how that might improve or increase jobs. Amanda, if you've got a really quick answer to that, I'd love to hear.

Amanda Stanley: We're looking into that as well. I know that there's going to be some funding put through, like to the colleges and there's a real big push with that for apprenticeships right now. I haven't seen where there is a push for diversity in those push in the funding that's coming down, but I can certainly reach research it a little bit more and send it back to y'all.

Pepper Roussel: Fantastic. Is there, excuse me, is there anything that I might have missed? Is there anything if y'all want to come off mute and say or ask a question that you might have had that I didn't get to? May I just add one thing? Yes. If you if you have a male or female someone not conforming to this the gender norm, I don't care.

Traci Washington: A student who feels that they are being sexually harassed, or experiencing sexual discrimination in a K-12 setting or in a university setting, be it community college, any program. Let's do it this way. Any program receiving federal funding, right? Any educational program, there must be someone there who can direct them on how to file a complaint under Title IX. That is their right. And and I'm seeing this particularly with my clients in the K-12 setting where they're like, what's Title IX? And I'm going, oh my gosh. So we've got some really pushback. The colleges know about it. In the high schools I'm seeing and hearing about a lot of discrimination and sexual harassment. Bullying also comes under Title IX stalking. Huge, right? So that's my last thing. Really encourage them and always regret saying, and you can always get in contact with me. But , I always say it. You can always get in contact with me at or at Southern University Law Center,

Pepper Roussel: If memory serves, there was a whole movie dedicated to, on the basis of sex and the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how she used IX. A who Casey did you have any last words? Nothing to say. Fine. Just listening and learning as a cisgendered man should do. Bravo. Bravo.

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