Maria Coronado’s grandmother was a World War II riveter and her grandfather a lifelong woodworker. Maria grew up learning how to bake bread as skillfully as she knew how to fix a combustion engine, and was often the only woman on a site to wield a hammer when she started in construction in 1990.
Nearly 30 years later, she’s a mentor to female Carpenters (and women looking to become Carpenters), answering late-night calls helping women navigate a male-dominated field. Advice Maria gives to her mentees includes “checking your feelings” before you enter a construction site; the importance of communication, “you have to say what needs to be said without fear of consequences;” “own you skills.”
Maria is a Special Representative for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenter who is an outreach specialist to women. She works directly with contractors to get women placed on jobs, and she works with the Southwest Carpenters BOOTS program to get women in that Pre-Apprenticeship program. She has helped many women become members and continues to be their mentors throughout their careers. She is also in charge of the Sisters in the Brotherhood in Southern California.