- City, State: Norfolk, Virginia
- Geographic Location: North America
- Age: 43
I joined the Navy during the first gulf war and found myself on the flight deck of the USS America launching F-14's, I was the only woman. When I left the Navy and went to work as a defense contractor for the Navy I found myself excelling in my specialty field of fiber optic connectivity in combat systems. I was surrounded by male colleagues, they always farmed me out to other major defense contractors who were in need of fiber optic system repairs because I was known throughout the fleet as the "go to person".....this included the fiber optic connectors used in the Scan Eagle system that helped in the rescue of the Captain of the Alabama-Maersk who was held hostage in a raft by Somali pirates...yes, those were my connectors that brought that system together to work the way it did. I got no credit for my work, infact my male counterparts were openly given the props for my hard work and in order to keep me quiet about it, I was blacklisted by my industry. The reason being I was told is that that industry isn't ready yet to have the a woman taking credit, the public wouldn't buy it anyway.
Exhibit change by:
I exhibit change first and foremost by example. Although I am no longer working within my profession, I was able to leave a lasting impression on some of my male coworkers that hard work and perseverance aren't enough, it takes true respect of each other to be what it really takes to make a "team". I impress upon my younger sister my trials and tribulations so that she is prepared for what this world my dish out to her. I do local volunteer work with the girl scouts, as I was one when I was very young. I will never stop working at helping our cause.
I'm passionate about:
Safety for women in the work place. While I was employed as a civilian defense contractor for the Navy, I was assaulted by a male coworker while underway. NCIS covered it up due to the ship being the Navy's latest aircraft carrier and the public would lose faith in it's ability to defend our country if those types of "shinanigans" are going on. Trying to get any help from the civilian sector was no better, they said it was a Navy matter. I was mugged while working in the shipyard, the list goes on. If men don't want you around, and if the environment supports that kind of behavior, they will make sure you are no longer able to do your job. Women should be able to work where they want and feel safe doing it!
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