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  • Gender Barrier

    I'm curious to know, Do you girls still see a gender barrier at work? The reason I ask this is because we have 3 women that work out of knoxville, and since I've been out here, they've always have been just "one of the guys". They still get razzed about some things, but its never because of their gender.
    There is no doubt in my mind that it must've been hard for some of these older guys to accept women out here, but they seem to have pretty much adjusted to it. Do you guys still see some resistance from working out here? I think the majority of the guys out here are younger now. I know that since I've been born ( way back in 1981 ) there has always been women working. its never been a big deal for me, but I'm sure that there are still some neandethals out there......and its not just limited to our sex....

  • #2
    I had mixed reactions when I hired out fifteen years ago. Today I get along with most evweybody.As you say the older men have retired and the younger generation have always known women employees. Around my home terminal I'm fine,when I go to away term. the guys don't know me and they don't know how to react with me.The same is true when we have crews from a different term come here. Then we have a few that have voiced their opinion that women are just taking work away from men that "need the money".This was when the economy was good and the boards were fat.All the women I know out here(two) have responsabilities of their own. Then we have as you call them the neanderthals that just don't like women. That is the kind who slammed me on another site and drug all kinds of assumed info about my private life into the picture. I was lucky that my husband worked on maintenence of way and most every-one knew him and liked him before I came out here. WOW lots of infoand havn't scratched the surface yet about the women who abuse their harassment and discrimination options.
    I may not be king..But..ITS GOOD TO BE QUEEN

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    • #3
      SOME of the things I have noticed here with women and men railroaders is, its like these guys don't realize that they can walk right off property and there is a whole city full of women...A woman walks in an sits at the computer and a dozen horn dawgs zoom in, if she doesn't date one of the hron dawgs a rumour usually starts up that she's a lezzy.....Always amazes me.....

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      • #4
        fatboy really hit it on the head with alot of it. i already knew many of the young guys and even more of the old heads, but there was still MANY silent trips. i know now, most of them either had no idea what to talk to me about or were terrified to work with me. i really had to "make the 1st move" i guess you could say to show that i wasnt going to go running to an official for every little thing.
        i get along with 99% percent of the guys i work with AT work. most cant really know me outside of work because of their wives. its very sad. which leads to a huge pet peeve i guess you could say... when some guys wife calls me questioning me, just because im a girl and have worked with their husband. most times the husband just kinda sits back, wont stand up for themselves or me. i have lost some really good friend ships because of it.
        i do still have an issue when swapping out with other crews. i can walk up to the engine with my conductor who has the supplies, radio hanging off their bag and the engineer will go straight to him telling him about the engines and train, while im tryin to lean over and hear what he is saying, since im the one who needs to know. i usually get smart with them and say, thanks, i really needed to know that.
        there are many more things i could say. but im gonna shut up now.
        i know that i do work with some of the best guys ever. i have never had a job where when someone needs something, big or small, either help moving or a major car wreck that keeps someone from working, and everyone is willing to give everything they can to help. with my recent "situation" i have had so many people constantly checking on me to make sure im not sitting in the dark eating peanut butter!
        thanks for asking adment, its nice to see that some guys wanna know how we do feel and what we think!
        Duck tape is silver, silence is golden.

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        • #5
          I personally like seeing women on the rails that aren't afraid to be feminine, yet know their job well. I really don't care for the ones that figure they're in a "mans workplace" so they have to act like a guy. I think it more empowering for women to be women, but know your job, just as well, if not better, than their co-workers. I know a few that do this well, and I highly respect them for it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Northern View Post
            I personally like seeing women on the rails that aren't afraid to be feminine, yet know their job well. I really don't care for the ones that figure they're in a "mans workplace" so they have to act like a guy. I think it more empowering for women to be women, but know your job, just as well, if not better, than their co-workers. I know a few that do this well, and I highly respect them for it.
            I have to agree with you on that 110% When I first hired on-One oldhead told me to always remember that I was a Lady. I'm not a high maint girly girl that wears a full face of make-up,but I do try to wear a little eye stuff and I will not go to work without a nice subtle shade of lipstick on. I try to begin my shift with my hair combed nice-but after about three moves of kicking cars-I usually have to pin it up. I also know my job and I think(no -I know) I'm good at it. Some of the older guys brag on my ability to do my job,and that makes me proud to be out here with them. They also give me the impression that they appreciate the effort I take to still be a girl ,As you can tell by our long responces -we have a lot to say and we appreciate your questions.
            I may not be king..But..ITS GOOD TO BE QUEEN

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            • #7
              The best thing that anybody could do for themsleves is to be true to their own heart. If people can't accept you for who you are, and if they can't judge you on only your abilities, they are not worth knowing anyways. We have come a long ways in our ability to accept the differences in people, but we still have a long way to go. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to judge someone on their appearances and their background. I truly do believe that one day everybody will be seen as equal, but its going to take some work on our part. Thats partly why i am so grateful for a tool as such as this forum to understand where evrybody else is coming from......Yardlimits can go along way into helping us accheive our goal of equality!

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              • #8
                I also agree with what KT is saying about not having the luxuary of beeing "friends" with our co-workers.Not after hours anyway. Too many rumers fly,too many wifes,girlfriends,ets don't understand the situatuin. At away terms we can go to eat and used to go for a cold one,and I enjoy getting to know my fellow rails. Don't like beeing thrown into the rumer mill ,so any more so I pretty well stay to myself when AFHT. KT ,Whenever I swap with other crews I always make sure I get to the engine first,I smile at the guy that is obviosuly the conductor and ask him if there is any probs with the power I need to know about. Word spreads fast especially when there is a girl involved and it won't be very long before they begin to pass it along to their co-workers that there is a girl engineer out there and to acknoledge you as the hogger.
                I may not be king..But..ITS GOOD TO BE QUEEN

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                • #9
                  To be honest, as someone that lived through the change I can say it was tough.
                  When I hired out the only women we had were those that worked in the clerical side and office workers and in most cases they weren't on the railroad proper (mainly in the offices) but some were in the MM's office and such.

                  We started to see it happen in the 80's really, and during the 90's it picked up.
                  I've never had an issue, as long as they can do their job. But I say this, that goes for MAN and WOMAN.
                  I learned that everyone is HUMAN, everyone makes mistakes, everyone can learn to do the job. I've seen guys that weren't able to keep up with the physical aspect just as well as women.

                  I treat everyone with the same respect until you prove me otherwise. Once you prove to me your an idiot, the respect is lost.
                  Gender matters not!
                  I see the "moron meter" pegged you! It never fails...EVER!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fatboy View Post
                    I also agree with what KT is saying about not having the luxuary of beeing "friends" with our co-workers.Not after hours anyway. Too many rumers fly,too many wifes,girlfriends,ets don't understand the situatuin. At away terms we can go to eat and used to go for a cold one,and I enjoy getting to know my fellow rails. Don't like beeing thrown into the rumer mill ,so any more so I pretty well stay to myself when AFHT. KT ,Whenever I swap with other crews I always make sure I get to the engine first,I smile at the guy that is obviosuly the conductor and ask him if there is any probs with the power I need to know about. Word spreads fast especially when there is a girl involved and it won't be very long before they begin to pass it along to their co-workers that there is a girl engineer out there and to acknoledge you as the hogger.
                    The thing is when I hired out there were 5 -10 women engineers here, all seemed to do their job good in my book, but out of those 5 only 1 is still here, 1 took a disbility for hitting a stalled car with no one init at 10 mph and never came back, one is off for a disablity for something like lining a switch and hurting shoulder, one transfered to Springfield, one quit and became a raiologist (she was an EXCELLENT hogger too), one rule g's outa here.

                    Now we have another batch which include some very fine employess and like in the male ranks, some I'd rather not work with But on the whole here we are used to working with women hoggers and conductors...I'd like to get some of them on here, in fact if I can find em at work I'll see if I can draft em...

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                    • #11
                      I agree whole heartdly about if you can do the job-welcome aboard!! I also have had both male and female workers that I would rather not work with. I guess not having other women out here to intermix with is one of my biggest problems. Not having the luxuary of having a same gender co-worker to compare concerns with and exchange information with . I have grown to realize that my male coworkers are curious on how I handle different situations,This forum will hopefully make some of the growing pains for women out here a little less. Even make the growing pains a little less for the guys too
                      I may not be king..But..ITS GOOD TO BE QUEEN

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                      • #12
                        I, like Throttle, can remember when there were no ladies at all in our craft. My position was, and still is, if you can do the job then come on and do it.

                        My wife has never had trouble with me as far as the women I work with or represent, and quite a few of them call my house and cell now since I am their Local Chairman. Maybe 25 years of trusting each other goes a long way but she's never had trouble with that.

                        KT, I'm sorry to hear that the kind of crap you mention still goes on up on your district. We don't have that happen down here, I guess that's because in the yard we all are in the same boat together and we either row together or sink, especially since officer wise Atlanta seems to be the collection point for all the a-holes on NS. One of the finest ladies I have ever had the pleasure of working with is also a Trustee in our Local. She's the kind that will make a good Local Chairman the day I decide to hang it up, if she wants the job.

                        There are a few guys out here who are intimidated by a woman being on a crew with them but I would say less than 5. None of the 25-40 year range are at all. I've trained every one I've ever had as an ACT and will continue to do it. We all have to work.

                        Gender bias has no place out here. And on my district I'm glad we don't see much of it.

                        GOC

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                        • #13
                          I will say this. One evening they called us and told us to pull in a train from the south end. When we got to the train, the crew pulled the train to the crossing and down came 2 women, conductor and hogger.
                          I've been told the conductor has since quit and the hogger was fired. (can't elaborate). I found it odd to see, as you just don't see it much (especially back 10 years ago or so when it happened). But today when I go to work I give it no second thought to have women around, or in the crew.
                          I see the "moron meter" pegged you! It never fails...EVER!

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                          • #14
                            the ladies I work with [with the exception of one] all try their damndest to not let their gender affect the duties of the job. if anything, they go out of their way to prove they are just as capable as we men. I had helluva lot more work with some of those gals than some of the lazy bastages I have had put up with.
                            -sigpicLet's All Hunch!

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                            • #15
                              The only people I have any trouble working with male or female are the ones who don't even try. Unfortunately we do have a few here at my location. These are the ones you go in the office with quite frequently also.

                              I will say that NONE of the ladies at this location fall into that category. Some are less physically able than others but I don't mind working a little harder as long as they are giving 100% of what they can. I had one of our ladies mention to me one evening that I seemed to do a little more when she was on the job with me, that I tended to be kind of "protective."

                              I told her that it was the way I was raised, and that it wasn't that I didn't think she didn't want to do the work, there was just a couple of things she wasn't physically able to do and so I did them instead. (Moving a gooseneck drawhead on a 90 foot auto rack for instance, this sister weighs maybe 98 pounds). Other than that, she was in place at the switch each time, right where I expected her to be each time and if she didn't understand a move she asked me again. This is no small feat as I am told I can be an intimidating individual. I didn't get my handle on this forum by mistake.

                              Like I said, I have long ago become used to working with women out here and to me that's a good thing.

                              GOC

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