I am a strong woman that knows my worth and know that I belong here because I said so! Pamela
What is your occupation? Ironworker
What made you interested into getting into your field?
I took a three-year leave of absence from the department of education in New Your City to be a stay-at-home mother. Two years into it, money started to get tight and I didn’t want to go back into teaching. About five years prior I had heard of a program called N.E.W. (Non-Traditional Employment for Women). I had researched it at the time but couldn’t commit. This time, I was ready. I decided to go into the trades to become an electrician but once I was in the program there was another young lady who was determined to follow her fathers’ footsteps and become an ironworker. Her determination intrigued me, and I did some research to educate myself on my options. I discovered that my city had three Ironworker Locals (Unions). I picked the one that I felt, and still feel, will help my excel in my career. I’m only three years in and I can honestly say I have manifested my way here, to all the jobs I’ve had, and I love it! What do you love about your field? I love that I am leaving a little bit of me in every building in New York City that I work on. Some buildings hold world-breaking records and I helped build it. I get to tell my boys “look what mommy built” or is building; they love it! Now I view the city differently and appreciate it more.
What types of challenges have you faced as a woman and how have you overcome them?
My number one challenge, believe it or not, is the bathroom situation – I know you probably thought I was going to say the men, sexism, or racism because I am a black Latina. But nope, it’s just the bathroom situation. I am currently at a job where it can be the worse for some, but it’s my best job site to date because there’s plenty of CLEAN bathrooms!! And not to say that the other situations don’t happen but I am a strong woman that knows my worth, and know that I belong here because I said so! I think it also comes with maturity I came into the business late with no prior experiences or family member in the business so I could’ve gotten lost in transition but I’ve been blessed to had find my little tribe in the local that have helped pave the way for me.
Is there any advice you would give to women entering the field? You belong even when they say you don’t – when they say you can’t do it, do it twice and don’t be good be GREAT! One last thing, find your tribe always and at all times because you are going to need them!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes! To my 580 ladies THANK-YOU ! We all we got!