AISC Celebrates Women in Construction Week: Wednesday Afternoon Edition

Blue Coble, Journeyman Ironworker & Quality Manager, McCarthy Building

It's Women in Construction Week, and we're celebrating by highlighting an array of women in the steel industry every day this week. Today, we're featuring Blue Coble, a journeyman ironworker and quality manager with McCarthy Building. Find out how she got her start in the industry, what challenges she's had to overcome, and what changes she'd like to see for the industry moving forward.

How did you get your start in the industry? 
I was a graphic designer at the time and wanted a change. I definitely got it!

What barriers or challenges have you had to overcome as a female in the industry?
The assumptions and stereotypes are the worst. There is nothing more frustrating than showing up to a job and having to carry the crimes of a fictional enemy. I've run into quite a few guys who have said, "Women don't belong here because they sue everyone!" But when I ask who did that, they don't have a name. 

What piece of advice would you give to your 10-year-old self? 
That construction is a career possibility. I grew up in a traditional family and girls weren't supposed to do that kind of work. I think if I knew that this was a potential avenue for a career, I would've jumped in much sooner.

What changes would you like to see for the future of the industry? 
I would love to see more people embracing those who are interested in joining the trades. There are a lot of great organizations that do a fantastic job of reaching out and educating people to help them establish a successful career in construction, but there are still too many people who treat this industry as though it were a "cool kids club." We should share the wealth and knowledge so more people can be a part of the fun!

Anything else you'd like to mention?
Becoming an ironworker was the best decision I could've ever made. Not only has it taken me so far in my career path, but there are so many open doors that can take you to incredible levels of success. If you are even just a little curious, give it a go!

For more information about Women in Construction Week, visit