NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A nonprofit is challenging gender stereotypes in an effort to empower girls to seek careers typically reserved for males.
CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock caught up with little ladies from all over the city at the Kohler Experience Center in Flatiron, where they gathered for Tools and Tiaras.
“We actually believe in putting tools in girls’ hands and teaching them that jobs don’t have genders,” Founder Judaline Cassidy told Murdock.
Cassidy said she lacked confidence as a little girl.
“The moment I became a plumber and owned that power, I realized how empowering it was,” she said. “I said to myself, imagine if little girls felt this all their lives… how awesome would that be?”
Tools and Tiaras started in 2017, offering monthly workshops on the trades.
January’s workshop on wielding sparked something in 12-year-old Penelope Amaya. Murdock asked her how it felt to hold the blowtorch.
“It felt like I was in power to make something of my own,” she said.
“Usually, welding is what they say is a man’s job,” said her mother, Margarita Amaya. “When she welded, it was just fantastic. I told her you can do anything.”
Aniya Matias, 10, was disappointed when the session ended. That’s why, in part, her mother brought her back for another.
“She was very excited, she curious above all else,” Nancy Matias said.
February’s workshop focused on plumbing and learning to install a faucet. An 8-year-old girl named Sophia was the first to give it a try.
“I wasn’t really interested in plumbing at first,” she said. “I got this feeling I was actually good at it and I should keep trying it out… It’s fun and it’s kind of like science.”
“As a country, we need to let kids know that if somebody decides to pick up a tool instead of going to college, they have equal value,” said Cassidy.
She’s spreading the word while perhaps forging the next generation of great tradeswomen. Observing the bright minds of our future learning it’s OK to wear a tiara and a toolbelt at the same time.
Tools and Tiaras also offers summer camps. For more information, click here.