This week, in our blog series on Women’s History Month, Radiant Plumbing & Air Conditioning spoke with Deborah, a very skilled electrician in Austin, TX.
Meet Deborah – Electrician
Radiant: What got you interested in the electrician field and how did you go about getting your foot in the door?
Deborah: “Well, I would say it actually started with my family flipping houses when I was growing up. We were doing some work on our own house as well. One time, my dad was installing some outlets and I asked if I could help. After that, I volunteered in churches to help with home remodels. I eventually liked what I was doing so much that I wanted to make a long term career out of it.”
Radiant : When you decided to jump into the electrician field, what was the response that some of your family and peers gave you? Did you get any feedback?
Deborah: “From friends and family, they weren’t surprised. They knew how much I loved the work I did and the experience. As well as the different people I got to be around.”
Radiant : When you started working in the trades, were there any significantly different challenges you came across?
Deborah: “Well, yeah, you are working in a man’s world there are some challenges around that. But I was treated pretty fairly in the first company I worked for. I worked for them for 10 years and learned a lot. Not too many significant challenges, but I enjoyed learning new tasks. I get more people that are surprised to see a woman working on the field, if anything.”
[Deborah working in the field]
Traditionally in the field, you will see “Men Working” signs that alert you to watch out for workers. Deborah was bold enough to ask for a “Women Working” sign to put around her ladder when she’s on a job. Today, it’s common for women to come up to her or pull her over to take pictures. They enjoy seeing her empowering and unique signage.
Radiant : So tell me, what would you say to all of the other women who are interested in becoming an electrician or jumping into a trade?
Deborah: “I would say, don’t let anyone discourage you. One of the guys I worked around before joining a company, was a master electrician and when I went to speak with him about getting into the trade as a career, he kind of tried to discourage me from getting into the trade, telling me that it was a tough job. That kind of upset me and made me want to pursue it even more. I’ve found that many people like to have women working with them because of their attention to detail.”
Deborah is currently working as a successful electrician in Austin, TX. She plans to grow within the profession and expand her knowledge of the electrical trade.
Visit any of our other “Women in the Trades” articles to read more about the skilled women that work in these various disciplines..