The book was born out of a real construction project in Utah, also called The house she built, completed this summer, where a team of women built a show home on behalf of Professional Women in Building, a board of the Utah Home Builders Association. About 100 women from all involved building trades built a 3,200 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. It has just been marketed for $ 400,000.

Allen was also the general contractor for this construction, which also presented unique construction challenges: statistically, women constitute only 3.4% of the US construction workforce. Playing an all-female squad meant importing crew members from all over the country.

“It was extremely difficult, yes. Absolutely, ”Allen said. “But there was an amazing group of women who were in charge of recruiting, finding women to work there, women who were working to find sponsorships for us. Almost all of the products in the house were donated and all of the women who came out were volunteers. “

One of those women recruited into the project was Elkman, who is based in Philadelphia and works in marketing for construction projects nationwide. To carry The House That She Built’s message – that women can have successful careers in the construction trades – Elkman and illustrator Georgia Castellano have created a children’s book of the same name.

“The House She Built”, the book, describes for very young readers the series of jobs required to build a house, each showing a woman doing it.

“The House That She Built” aims to encourage girls to consider careers in the construction trades. (Emma Lee / WHYY)

“We think career biases actually start at a very young age,” said Elkman, who says there has been a labor shortage in the construction industry for 15 years. “If we don’t have the workforce to provide housing, that’s a real problem. We really think it starts by changing the conversation with younger learners.

“The House That She Built” is published by BuilderBooks, a division of the National Association of Home Builders. An imprint geared towards professional builders with practical titles like “Residential Construction Performance GuidelinesAnd “Finding Hidden Profits”, this is BuilderBooks’ first children’s book and a dazzling bestseller: on the day of its release, its circulation of 10,000 copies was already sold out thanks to pre-sales.