The Women Who Made Plumbing History

Women’s History Month: The Plumbing Edition

Women make up approximately 1.5% of the plumbing profession in the United States. Before the 1950s, there were barely any women plumbers at all.

Women plumbers now own their plumbing businesses and are welcome to join World Plumbing Day. Nonprofit tradeswomen organizations include Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles, Chicago Women in Trades, Tradeswomen, Inc., etc. Women’s history has helped pave the way for plumbers of all ages.

women in plumbing

The Female Plumbers Who Make A Difference

Several industries in the current workforce have been negatively impacted during the pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, both men and women have been increasingly concerned about finding a secure career.

Trades are a steady way to earn income that does not usually require a college education. Through training, students from trade schools can learn worthwhile skills that can withstand change. Certain industries such as auto repair, electrical sectors, and plumbing are unlikely to disappear in an unforeseen incident.

Women are now increasingly eager to secure a job in the trades to stay safely employed. While the profession was once entirely male, plumbing has evolved to include both sexes. One positive advancement is the inclusion of women teachers for students of all ages. Women are now part of the mentoring programs that help students around the country.

Mentoring programs are a way for students from trade schools to learn from hands-on experience. The plumbing industry currently has a mentoring program designed for girls called Tools and Tiaras. Judaline Cassidy started this program in New York to inspire girls in inner-city communities.

The majority of plumbers earn $54,023 per year. In 2021, women earned 91% of what men earned. Programs that are trying to close this gap include a variety of local unions. Women of the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Welders, and Service Techs represent women plumbers and their best interests.

Ladies Auxiliary Committee for the National Association of Plumbers

The Women’s Auxiliary Committee was originally a social club formed in the early 1900s. The association was known for entertaining plumber’s wives while the National Association of Plumbers had their meetings. This all changed in 1919.

In 1919 the women began to run the organization themselves, leading to meaningful activism within the plumbing industry. One of the most popular campaigns was their partnership with Texaco gas. In 1938 the auxiliary partnered with Texaco to improve sanitation and promote the upgrade in future advertising. This helped boost the industry further.

Lilian Ann Baumbach

Lillian Ann BaumbachLilian Ann Baumbach grew up in the plumbing business. Accompanying her father on various jobs, she decided to learn the job as a profession. After passing the official Master Plumber’s exams, she became the first licensed woman in the plumbing industry.

In 1953, the magazine Domestic Engineering publicly acknowledged her efforts. “The U.S. Has Its Lady Plumbers Too!” The article compares Ms. Baumbach to Flavia Pompeii, the character from Roman Mysteries.

Known as “The Pretty Plumber,” Lilian Ann Baumbach worked as a plumber and later as her father’s business’s service manager and treasurer. Her femininity and career helped pave the way for dozens of women to break all the stereotypes.

About Total Comfort Solutions

Total Comfort Solutions is a heating, cooling, and plumbing company serving the Walla Walla Valley since 2008. They provide a worry-free process by offering straightforward pricing and free installation estimates. Call today for on-time service in Walla Walla, WA.