“I am fast learner, not a fragile doll.”
This is where we start with Kanicee’s interview and it only gets better.
Kanicee sorts boards and makes sure nothing gets by her that is not a quality piece of lumber. This spitfire got her first job when she was twelve. She works in the mill full-time and is a full-time college student.
For Kanicee, this is a family business – many of her family work at the mill – including her father, her grandfather, and her grandmother.
Keep at it…
Kanicee’s direct manner and thoughtful, conversational style is disarming. She tells me that when she first took this job, she didn’t like it and was not sure she was going to last. But she kept at it – and lo and behold, a transformation occurred. She came to love her job and take pride in her role. “I have gained a new respect for myself and others. I know more about myself – what I like, what I don’t like – my strengths and challenges.”
Like many of the women I spoke with, Kanicee appreciates the consistency of the job and really enjoys a physical challenge. She also has a special appreciation of machines and what working with them has taught her. She is proud of her speed and accuracy.
Equal pay for equal work…
“I am well paid for what I do here. When I go to deposit my paycheck at the bank, I am in line with other employees, some much older than me. In this job, age does not determine compensation for a job well done, performance does. That feels pretty good.”
As to advice for her peers who are considering a job that is outside the gender box. Kanicee has this to say, “Don’t quit, stick with it until you are sure. Push yourself. You may be surprised to find that you are way better at a job like this than you ever thought you could be.”
I sort of want to send this super GAL a cape…just sayin’.
Author’s Note: I am looking for more women to interview who work in trade and non-traditional roles. If you or someone you know would like to talk with me you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – Attention: Women’s Work.
All photos – copyright Julia Petersen, 2019