As part of the #BuildingEquality 2018 Campaign, Patricia Brouder of Patricia Brouder (Aherne) & Son Plastering Contractors, shares her story as a woman in construction.
When I was young my Dad used to take me to work with him on a Saturday. He would give me two blocks on the ground and some mortar to play with and I used to smooth it over the block, I kept doing it over and over.
As I got older, every chance I got I went with him. I wasn’t too keen on school, so every Saturday and the odd day during the week I went to work. So, when I got the chance to go full-time I was delighted. I worked with my Dad for 20 years until late 2004 when he retired and I took over the business.
Everything was going well, I took on a labourer and a young apprentice, put him through his apprenticeship and he passed. I also bought my own van in 2005. Then the company we had worked with for 20 years went bust and it made it very difficult to get work because we hadn’t done any work outside of this company, so our name hadn’t been out there.
I had to let everybody go and then I found myself wondering what I could do, plastering is all I knew, so I got myself a job delivering bread for two years. After a while I knew delivering bread wasn’t for me, so myself and my son decided to give plastering a go again. My son was the same as me, he came with me when he was small.
First, we got an extension from the Council to do, then we got a second job and we were delighted that we were given the chance to prove that we could do plastering. Now we are working on the regeneration in Limerick with a builder part-time. It would be nice if we could get something full-time, but at the same time we are just delighted to be doing it.
To learn more about the #BuildingEquality campaign and to share your own story, please visit our dedicated #BuildingEquality page here