Picture book shows girls that women build houses


The book grew out of an actual construction project in Utah, also called The House That She Built, that completed this summer and featured a team of women building a flagship home on behalf of Professional Women in Building, a council for the Utah Home Builders Association. Around 100 women from all relevant construction trades built a 3,200 square meter house with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. It just hit the market for $ 400,000.

Allen also acted as the general contractor for this construction, which also had special challenges during construction: Statistically, women make up only 3.4% of American construction workers on site. Arguing an all women team meant importing crew members from across the country.

“It was extremely challenging, yes. Absolutely, ”said Allen. “But there was an amazing group of women in charge of recruiting, finding women to work, women working to find sponsors for us. Almost all of the products in the home were donated and all of the women who came out were volunteers. “

One of those women recruited for the project was Elkman, who lives in Philadelphia and works in marketing for construction projects nationwide. To carry on The House That She Built’s message – that women can have a successful career in the construction industry – Elkman and illustrator Georgia Castellano have put together a children’s book of the same name.

“The House That She Built,” the book outlines, for the very young reader, the series of jobs that are required to build a house and shows each of them performed by a woman.

The House That She Built aims to encourage girls to consider a career in construction. (Emma Lee / WHYY)

“We believe that career-based bias starts at an extremely young age,” said Elkman, who says the construction industry has been short of labor for 15 years. “When we don’t have a manpower to provide housing, that’s a real problem. We really believe this starts with changing the way you talk to the youngest learners. “

The House That She Built is published by BuilderBooks, a division of the National Association of Home Builders. An imprint aimed at professional builders with practice-oriented titles such as “Guidelines for Performance in Housing” and “Finding Hidden Profits” is BuilderBooks’ first children’s book and an absolute bestseller: On the day of its publication, it had a circulation of 10,000 copies in advance sales sold out.


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