Updated: Apr 9
Union Pile Driver
Three words that describe you?
Hardworking, driven, honest.
Who are your role models and mentors?
My grandfather (union carpenter) my father (union crane operator) and countless men I have worked along side throughout my career.
What is your favorite thing about your current job?
Driving past a job and seeing it finished.
What originally got you interested in your current field of work?
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Don't think you are not capable of doing certain tasks because of your size.
When you started your current job, what most surprised you?
How physically demanding it was but also the importance of us doing our job so everyone else that comes behind us can do theirs.
Do you have an embarrassing or funny story you can share about work or something that has happened at work?
I was on a caisson job in the middle of winter so the mud was up to the middle of my shins. I had my muck boots on and I got stuck, I went to move and fell backwards and on the way down I tried to save myself but managed to grab the oiler’s ass. Of course it had to be the good looking one and unintentionally copped a feel.
Have you had to deal with conflict or confrontation while at work? How did you handle it?
Yes, I've been screamed at before and I just stood there, then asked if they were done yelling at me with a straight face. That usually makes them more mad, I tell them to teach me instead of screaming at me.
Do you have any suggestions on how to encourage more women to try a career in the trades?
Its definitely not for everyone. Its tough and very demanding but the reward trumps the rest of it. Going down the street seeing buildings I've worked on and the bridges I've been a part of building is a huge reward in itself. There is opportunity to work your way up to be in charge. Its there if you are willing to work for it!
Who has had the biggest impact on your career choice?
What does your family think of your career?
My family is very proud of me they have been very supportive. I am very lucky to have them as my support system.
If you could do anything, besides what you're doing now, what would you do?
Get into the Operating Engineers and be an operator for the pile driving side of construction.
What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
I don't remember LOL
What type of role do you want to take on after this one?
Eventually superintendent or something with more of a bigger role. I also want to have some part in my union to help encourage more women in the construction industry.
What do you remember most about your first job?
The first job I had was at Navy Pier I had a death grip trying not to fall in the river LOL
How old were you when you started working?
14 (helping dad out)
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
Grocery store when I was 17
What are people always surprised to discover about you?
The job I chose in the construction industry because of the physical demand of it.
Who is your favorite person in the world?
I have many people on that list.
What is the craziest thing you hope to do one day?
Make a big impact on young girls to show them its good to be tough and that you can be whatever you want when you work hard enough for it.
Anything else you would like to add or comment on?
I want any woman thinking about getting into the trades to dive in. There will be a lot to learn and people that doubt you, as long as you keep your head down and busting your ass, you will get results. Keep a strong mind and thick skin, you can be successful!