Ladies Night at the Woodshop

Kelly Kay

A woman’s place is in the Woodshop at Robson Ranch! The Woodshop at Robson Ranch has rejuvenated “Ladies Night at the Woodshop” every Monday night from 6 to 8 p.m. Joey Misiaszek, a longstanding member/mentor of the Woodshop, pushed to get the program going again. Joey feels that a “Ladies Night” helps female members feel more comfortable while working around other women with similar interests in a male-dominated hobby. Women make up approximately 8% of woodworkers in the United States, according to a 2021 “Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations” article. However, ladies in the Robson Ranch Woodshop make up 21% of our membership (45 out of 213).

The idea of a “Ladies Night” is to help introduce female members to the shop. They may be hesitant to walk into a room with a bunch of power tools (and men) and start working on a project. All members are required to attend a two- to three-hour, hands-on safety course that introduces them to each piece of equipment in the shop. Even after attending the safety course, I was intimidated by the thought of going into the Woodshop the first time by myself … even though I am very independent, extroverted, assertive, try almost anything once, and a lifelong learner. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have another female friend, Bev Andersen, help me get comfortable by just meeting me at the shop a couple of times. After that, I felt at ease asking questions or asking for help without feeling like a burden to other members. My name is Kelly Kay, and I am in my second year as a member of the Robson Ranch Woodworkers. I absolutely love the Woodshop and all the members who create there. It didn’t take me long to get comfortable and to ask questions, whether it be to a man who had been in the construction industry his whole life or someone like me who took up the hobby much later in life. There are many women who might need help feeling comfortable and knowing that the Woodshop is a safe place to learn.

The “Ladies Night” program was very successful in the past, and we want to ensure all the women at Robson Ranch feel welcome and included in the group. I have made many new friends through woodworking. And I’ve made many gifts for friends with my new skills—sparking many hours of imagining and dreaming of projects to come. We are just starting this program, and we feel it has a lot to offer. So please join us Monday evenings for a “Ladies Night at the Woodshop.”