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The woman that sawed her way through the glass ceiling2 min read

March 18, 2021 2 min read

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The woman that sawed her way through the glass ceiling2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

When you imagine a carpenter, what do you picture?

Do you think of a man with tools in hand getting ready to create beautiful furniture? Or, do you think of a woman with tools in hand getting ready to create beautiful furniture?

The chances are that you pictured a man. The reason: Most carpenters in the world are male. In the United States of America, only 3% of all their carpenters are female, and in India, the number is probably even smaller. However, these scary statistics didn’t shake Penmella’s spirit when she decided that carpentry and woodworking were her passion.

R.K. Penmilla

R.K. Penmilla in her workshop

Born and raised in the East Tusom village in Kamjong District in the state of Manipur, RK Penmila was not always sure of what she wanted to do. In the community of Tanghkul people to which she belonged, Penmila had seen mostly male carpenters. However, when she studied fashion and interior design in Hyderabad, Carpentry piqued her interest.

Imphal-Kamjong Road on the way to Kamjong District Headquarter :: March  17th 2020 ~ Pictures from Manipur
The road between Imphal and the Kamjong district in Manipur. Image: E-Pao

She decided that she was going to go for it. Despite all odds, Penmila went to the capital of Manipur, Imphal and studied carpentry. When people said that carpentry required a lot of physical strength, Penmila was not deterred. She believed she had the strength. Besides, her family gave her the strength she didn’t already have.

Penmila’s community has been very understanding of her decision to shatter the glass ceiling and enter a male-dominated space. She considers herself lucky that her family and community have supported her all along her journey.

Her future

Now, Penmila wants to take skilled woodworking to the next level by studying even more. She believes that there is a high demand for skilled carpentry and that is exactly what she can provide. For now, Penmila works in another carpenters workshop in Imphal, but it is her dream to one day own her very own business.

With Excerpts From: The Print, The Urkhul Times, Northeast today, AniNews

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