Female building superintendent hopes more follow in her footsteps

When picturing a building superintendent, do you think of a man or a woman?

Loretta Zuk says when she first started as a super about 30 years ago, "They would ask for my husband because they thought I was the super's wife."

Today, Zuk says more women have joined the superintendent profession, but not nearly enough.

Peter Grech teaches a certification course for building supers. He says gender has nothing to do with quality of work, yet far more men enroll in his course. In a survey Grech took in 2009, of just under 9,000 people only about 80 were women.

"In many cases women do a better job, they’re more detail oriented than us," he says.

Zuk is a member of the SEIU 32-BJ union, which protects building service workers. Vice President John Santos says that of the more than 3,000 supers in the union only a few dozen members are women.

"I would encourage women to take these jobs, these are great jobs, great benefits, starting salaries, great way to raise a family," Santos says.

32-BJ is working to get more women to join the profession by offering free certification courses to all members.

"We want equality we want to be recognized just as well for working hard and dedicating ourselves to a job that has always been male-based," Zuk says.