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In 1981 Hardy became the first female firefighter at the Purdue University Fire Department. “At the time it was unheard of,” she said. “But it is not as unusual now as it was 30 years ago for me to be in a fire department.”
Recent trends reiterate Hardy’s statement, with reports that not only do women make up almost 60 percent of the workforce in America, but they are increasingly entering jobs in fields previously dominated by men.
According to a recent NBC news story as well as a study by the Center for Women’s Business Research, women are taking on jobs that have been traditionally held by men.
From ownership and professional positions all the way to the physical labor in industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation and repair jobs, a woman’s presence is becoming less uncommon.
How does that data translate locally? Greater Lafayette Commerce’s CEO and President Joe Seaman says that’s a question not many people have asked. “The job may have the same name,” Seaman said, “but the skill sets are different. In the past strength was utilized, but now we are utilizing education.”