Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Special Representative Maria Coronado recently called in on Southern California’s KPCC AirTalk radio interview show.

During the three-minute interview segment with host Larry Mantle, she reminisced about what it was like to be a trailblazer in the trade nearly 30 years ago, where she was usually the only woman on a job site: “A lot of people didn’t believe that a woman could do it, and I’ve spent my career showing them that a woman could. I was drawn to it because of the work, and the equal pay was just a bonus.”

Maria also explained that benefits like a pension, healthcare and state-of-the-art training make the Carpenter crafts such a great job option today: “What we enjoy is that you earn while you learn, and that there’s no giant student loan at the end…the schooling is paid for through the Union.”

Hear the interview (Maria’s segment begins at the 6:28 mark)