Hammer & Nail

Notes of a Journeywoman

By Kate Braid

Categories: Feminism
Imprint: Caitlin Press
Paperback : 9781773860336, 144 pages, September 2020

In the long-awaited follow-up to Journeywoman, Kate Braid returns with an honest and thought-provoking collection of essays reflecting on her career in a male-dominated profession and the advances female tradespeople have witnessed.


In 1977, Kate Braid began work as one of the first women to stumble (literally) into construction. Since then, feminism, the #MeToo movement, pay equity legislation and other efforts have led to more women in a wider variety of careers. Yet, the number of women in blue-collar trades has barely shifted--from three percent to a mere four.

In Journeywoman, Braid told a personal story of working almost exclusively with all-male construction crews. In Hammer & Nail: Notes of a Journeywoman, Braid returns to the trades with courage, compassion, and humour. Connecting her lifetime of experiences as a construction worker, as well as an educator and writer, Braid reflects on the culture of labour and recalls the thrill of realizing her own skill and capabilities.

Through stories, articles and speeches, Hammer & Nail sheds new light on our ideas of traditional gender roles--and how those ideas change in small but profound moments of gentleness, strength, humility and clarity on the job. Hammer & Nail is a thought-provoking collection of the highs and lows, the laughs, the heartaches and some of the lessons of Braid's journey.