In a fitting tribute to Labor Day, The Seattle Times published “Women in the Trades”, a powerful photo essay honoring local women who broke barriers and achieved success in traditionally male-dominated career fields.
West Point Treatment Plant electricians Stacey Walker and Kate Osborn were invited to take part in the story, along with tradeswomen from a variety of sectors including transportation, construction, utilities and other skilled crafts.
Osborn and Walker monitor, install, fix and trouble-shoot vital electrical systems that keep the plant running around the clock, every day of the year.
“The feeling, when there’s a critical piece of equipment on a critical plant and you have to fix it…That’s what I want other women to feel — that tangible satisfaction,” said Osborn.
WTD requires a diversity of employees to build, operate and maintain our facilities. As an enterprise, one of our primary goals is to attract and develop a diverse and highly qualified workforce.
While the skilled trades are an excellent pathway to good wages and career opportunities, just 3 percent of these jobs are held by women. WTD is seeking to change that by partnering with local high schools and colleges to develop programs that encourage women to pursue jobs in the skilled trades as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
WTD is fortunate to have highly experienced electricians such as Kate and Stacey serving the organization. We hope their stories inspire other women to consider career opportunities in the clean-water industry.
The original “Women in the Trades” feature photographs, shot by Seattle Times photographer Bettina Hansen, will be on display at the Machine House Brewery in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood through mid-October.