Joan Schatzman

Joan Schatzman, 50
Owner, Joan Schatzman Painting

When Joan Schatzman sold Muldowney’s Pub in 1985 (it’s now Club 216), she needed a job and couldn’t afford a traditional female job. She knew how to build and became a carpenter– and then realized she was smarter than many of the men she was working with. 
In 1990, she started her own construction and painting business, and now has progressed to fine interior painting. Schatzman thinks her gender has been an advantage because people feel safer hiring a woman to come into their house.
“I’ve had people hire me on the spot saying, ‘We’re going on vacation, here’s the keys,’ and they don’t know me,” she says. 
Schatzman does weary of the incredulousness she runs into as a woman carpenter and painter. Her response? “Try to get over it, guys.”
And she wonders if the banks are hesitant to lend money because she’s a woman or because she’s self employed.
One of the few women The Hook spoke to who has experienced sexual harassment, Schatzman says her solution to that particular situation was to move to a better, higher-paying job. 
She urges young women to get past the intimidation of traditional male jobs, such as carpentry, and go for it. “It pays a lot more than traditional women’s jobs,” she says. Yet the concepts aren’t that different: “Carpentry is a lot like being a seamstress. You cut out the pattern and put it together.”

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