There are many barriers to women and girls getting involved in trades, and it remains a very rare sight to see a woman on a building site. As a female carpenter and builder with over 30 years in the building industry, Jo Saccomani has witnessed this first hand.

But when Jo tells other women about her career, almost every woman will say “I’ve always wanted to do carpentry, but didn’t get a chance to.”

After a back injury forced her to give up her work as a builder, she had to find another outlet for her passion.

“I had to completely reinvent myself. I was ‘the lady builder,’ that’s who I was. And I’d lost that,” Jo says.

In a tiny tin and weatherboard shed tucked away in a quiet corner of Bega, Jo now teaches an all women carpentry workshop, where she helps women build the confidence and skills to make their own projects, with the kind of tools they can find at home.

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