Female Crane Operators/ Riggers? Are there any out there?

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SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia

46 months ago

Am curious to know if driving cranes is a career choice women make in the U.S. There is only a few of us in Australia. I'd like to talk with my peers in my industry about our experiences.

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Dave Kay in Victorville, California

45 months ago

Hmmmm... well, I'm not exactly one of your "peers" but I've been an operator for 23 yrs and I can say that yes, there are a few females in the crane/rigging business here in The States and some of them do fairly well. But mostly we don't see them sticking around for year after year trying to make careers out of crane work... if that answers your question.

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Dave Kay in Victorville, California

45 months ago

You're welcome. The female to male ratio is probably at its lowest right now, meaning there a even less women in cranes, because there is very little work available for ANYONE here in The States. Curious, how is crane work there in Australia? Are you getting steady work, staying employed?

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SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia

45 months ago

Yeah work is good. We faired the downturn well thanks to our mining sector. Having said that, for 6 months from March 09, if you were in a job you were unhappy with, you didn't move on. The economy was bad, employers nervous and nobody was employing. I know some top notch riggers that were unemployed for that time as they finished a job in December 08, decided to have a bit of time off, then couldn't get on anywhere.

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misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana

43 months ago

Dave Kay in Victorville, California said: Hmmmm... well, I'm not exactly one of your "peers" but I've been an operator for 23 yrs and I can say that yes, there are a few females in the crane/rigging business here in The States and some of them do fairly well. But mostly we don't see them sticking around for year after year trying to make careers out of crane work... if that answers your question.

EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

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sm.pearce@bigpond.com in Sydney, Australia

43 months ago

Hi. Great to hear from you. Would like to talk more about your experiences. I too have been in industry 12 years now. Let me know how to contact you.

Regards
Sharon

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misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana

43 months ago

Hello Sharon. Kinda weird, but I have 12 years experience too. My email is misstaken77@yahoo.com

Kelly

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WEZZEL1 in Andrews, Texas

42 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

O BOO HOO IT'HARD EVERYWAER I WOULD BE WILLING TO WORK WITH YUO.

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misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana

42 months ago

WEZZEL1 in Andrews, Texas said: O BOO HOO IT'HARD EVERYWAER I WOULD BE WILLING TO WORK WITH YUO.

Work with me and I will teach you how to spell

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Dave Kay in Victorville, California

42 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

Well for one thing, I never said anything about female crane ops 'trying and trying,' that's YOUR line. I simply stated what I have observed, that majority of females don't stick around and make careers in this trade. Why? I can't say. And it seems to me like you've got a need to prove something to someone. But you won't have to bother with me because words are worthless; proof in in performance, female or male. Even years of seat-time can mean little when some old hands I see still cant's catch a hook, but yet, they stick around year after year and somehow manage to make a living. And as far as I'm concerned, ALL crane ops need to work hard for respect because it isn't and shouldn't be handed out like candy. My .02 cents.

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Amanda B in Norfolk, Virginia

42 months ago

I am just getting ready to start as an apprentice rigger here in the States & she's absolutely right!! I've worked in other jobs that were male dominated & sometimes it may be your coworkers, but many times it's outsiders. For example I used to work in an auto parts store & was 1 of only 2 females in the whole store. And 99.9% of the men I worked with were great. They respected the women & they taught me a lot. It was the customers though, that you had to prove yourself to! Many would walk in the door & would wait in lines with 10 extra people before coming into your line for help. And I couldn't tell you how many times I've picked up the phone & immediatley the guy on the other end says "I don't want to talk to a girl, get a man on the phone." I actually had a quite a few customers that admittedly didn't think I could help them find the mystery part they were looking for, ecspecially since it was about the 5th time they had been in the store that day & noone before helped, but it was either that or wait 20min while the only other guy was outside helping another customer. And when I ended up being the only one that found what they were looking for & they went & laughed & joked to my manager that the girl was the only one who knew what they needed! So women DO have to work harder for the same amount of respect! It's just always been that way & always will be!

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kykat888@yahoo.com in Findlay, Ohio

41 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

I AM A FEMALE TOWER CRANE OPERATOR NCCO CERTIFIED AND I JUST WANTED TO SAY I UNDERSTAND- IT'S LIKE I TELL MY CREWS AND I ALWAYS TOLD MY KIDS - WE ALL REALLY DO HAVE TO PLAY IN THE SAME BACK YARD! BE SAFE!!!

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sm.pearce@bigpond.com in Adelaide, Australia

41 months ago

This is great. I was feeling so alone. We are out there. I would like to talk more with all you ladies. Keep up the good work.

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kykat888@yahoo.com in Toledo, Ohio

41 months ago

THANKS! MY FAMILY IS GOING THROUGH A TUFF TIME RIGHT NOW - PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT kykat888@yahoo.com

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David Scott Jones in North Hills, California

39 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

I'm a Los Angeles based documentary producer and developing a series called MY UNCONVENTIONAL LIFE.
This is a reality documentary series about women who not only broke through the glass ceiling they plowed right past it. One moment they are moms, grandmothers, wives, and girlfriends. The next moment they are testing and pushing the limits of what is normally acceptable for a woman to do with her life. But for these ladies its not just the passion or occupation, its juggling to do it all, and to do it with gusto and excelling at what they do best and never looking back.

Can we chat? I'm at davidscottjones@gmail.com

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offthehook

37 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

I went to ABC and graduated top of the class but I haven't gotten much seat time. I've work with non union companies. I tried to get in the union. That didn't happen. I got tired of fighting for a job. I got asked by a foreman on a job " what's. Your old man do to get you this job." Why when a woman gets a good job do men think that another man has to give her a boost?

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Dave Kay in Hesperia, California

37 months ago

offthehook said: I went to ABC and graduated top of the class but I haven't gotten much seat time. I've work with non union companies. I tried to get in the union. That didn't happen. I got tired of fighting for a job. I got asked by a foreman on a job " what's. Your old man do to get you this job." Why when a woman gets a good job do men think that another man has to give her a boost?

First off; just because you went to a school and learned how to catch a hook, does not an operator make. It takes years of seat-time and learning the ropes before your fellow workers have confidence in your ability to operate safely. Same goes for any contractor with any common sense, they will NOT just cut you loose to run a crane with little to no practical experince. Second; why do men think that another man has to give her (you) a boost? Because in MOST cases, NOT ALL, but in most cases that's how a women gets hired over a qualified man to take the job. You might think that's a lot of BS, but it is true and I've seen it again and again, a hundred times over.

Meanwhile, if you stick with it eventually you will prove yourself and possibly make a decent living. But remember that it won't happen overnight... good luck.

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offthehook

37 months ago

Thank you so much for your input. However I worked my way up in construction I am also a certified safety tech. Went to school for that too. I have some seat time, three years seat time. I have never worked because somebody got me a job. I am good at what I do. I started as a firewatch worked myself to pipefitter helper, then got certified in safety. Then went to school for Crane operation and got a few jobs. Nobody got me anything. I tried to join the union here but none of the women were excepted. There were five of us. A friend of mines son was excepted into the union fresh out of high school. I was always told that it was a man's world growing up. My father is a retired operator. After 18 years of it I agree. But I am getting tired of it.

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offthehook

37 months ago

Dave Kay in Victorville, California said: You're welcome. The female to male ratio is probably at its lowest right now, meaning there a even less women in cranes, because there is very little work available for ANYONE here in. The States. Curious, how is crane work there in Australia? Are you getting steady work, staying employed?

I am not in Australia I'm in Louisiana

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offthehook

37 months ago

Dave Kay in Victorville, California said: You're welcome. The female to male ratio is probably at its lowest right now, meaning there a even less women in cranes, because there is very little work available for ANYONE here in. The States. Curious, how is crane work there in Australia? Are you getting steady work, staying employed?

I am not in Australia I'm in Louisiana

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misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

37 months ago

offthehook said: Thank you so much for your input. However I worked my way up in construction I am also a certified safety tech. Went to school for that too. I have some seat time, three years seat time. I have never worked because somebody got me a job. I am good at what I do. I started as a firewatch worked myself to pipefitter helper, then got certified in safety. Then went to school for Crane operation and got a few jobs. Nobody got me anything. I tried to join the union here but none of the women were excepted. There were five of us. A friend of mines son was excepted into the union fresh out of high school. I was always told that it was a man's world growing up. My father is a retired operator. After 18 years of it I agree. But I am getting tired of it.

Local 406 Does not hire female crane operators... They turned me down too. Refused to sell me a book too.

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misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

37 months ago

Dave Kay in Hesperia, California said: First off; just because you went to a school and learned how to catch a hook, does not an operator make. It takes years of seat-time and learning the ropes before your fellow workers have confidence in your ability to operate safely. Same goes for any contractor with any common sense, they will NOT just cut you loose to run a crane with little to no practical experince. Second; why do men think that another man has to give her (you) a boost? Because in MOST cases, NOT ALL, but in most cases that's how a women gets hired over a qualified man to take the job. You might think that's a lot of BS, but it is true and I've seen it again and again, a hundred times over.

Meanwhile, if you stick with it eventually you will prove yourself and possibly make a decent living. But remember that it won't happen overnight... good luck.

Okay with 13 years experience.. NCCCO certified and a perfect safety recorder, a man is with less qualifications is always given preference over me. So I don't believe you know what is really going on in the REAL WORLD...

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offthehook

37 months ago

You tell him Sister

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sm.pearce@bigpond.com in Sydney, Australia

37 months ago

Wow! I'm sorry to hear that. I too have encountered a lot of Neanderthal attitudes but I encourage you to stick with it. Hard work and perseverance payoff.

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lvwireman in Las Vegas, Nevada

36 months ago

You're definitely not alone! I'm a female construction electrician and have had to deal with the same attitudes. Guys are accepted unless the prove they're a dink, while women are assumed to be dinks until they prove otherwise. I just take it as a challenge and like to prove them wrong!

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NICE_N_EEEZ in Texas

36 months ago

I'm a male European Operator livin in Texas USA with 23yrs exp and I've trained 11 new female crane operators in Europe and the USA the past 10-15 yrs.

Everone but one with the right mind set,a lot of drive and skill!
However,...I'm not quite sure if they are still working in this tough industry tho.

Women are unfortunately generally in the minority in the crane/heavy lifting/transport industry.
I don't know "why" though.
Maybe it's a "BIG" step for women to get into the "cliche" mans-world?

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NICE_N_EEEZ in Texas

36 months ago

Women in general tend be a whole LOT better at MULTI TASKING then men are!
THATS exactly one of the many "perks" you need to have,..to be a SUCCESSFUL crane operator!

Infact,...one of the most successful and best crane companies I've ever worked for (back in the 2000's/they dont exist anymore) was for 82% run by women!

Women in the office/mechanics/operators/drivers/supervisors/sales ect,...
THAT company ran smoother and more efficient then ANY OTHER crane company I've EVER worked for worldwide!

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NICE_N_EEEZ in Texas

36 months ago

Don't let those "wise-guys"/neanderthalers put you down for your career choice.
The guys cannot help themselfs,...they've been "raised" the "OLD-FASHIONED" way,....
Them guys/mens,their parents and grand parents all of em need to GROW the "F" UP,...and welcome to the 20th century!

Hope this helps giving all the women out there with a tough "cliche-mansworld" job a little SELF ESTEEM BOOST?

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Dave Kay in Victorville, California

35 months ago

NICE_N_EEEZ in Texas said: Don't let those "wise-guys"/neanderthalers put you down for your career choice.
The guys cannot help themselfs,...they've been "raised" the "OLD-FASHIONED" way,....
Them guys/mens,their parents and grand parents all of em need to GROW the "F" UP,...and welcome to the 20th century!

Hope this helps giving all the women out there with a tough "cliche-mansworld" job a little SELF ESTEEM BOOST?

AWE... GEEEZ-ESSS dare' Edith! Whatta' ya' doin'? Trying to drum-up some kind of "girlie-power" thing for these here dingbats?

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Dave Kay in Victorville, California

35 months ago

NICE_N_EEEZ in Texas said: Women in general tend be a whole LOT better at MULTI TASKING then men are!
THATS exactly one of the many "perks" you need to have,..to be a SUCCESSFUL crane operator!

Infact,...one of the most successful and best crane companies I've ever worked for (back in the 2000's/they dont exist anymore) was for 82% run by women!

Women in the office/mechanics/operators/drivers/supervisors/sales ect,...
THAT company ran smoother and more efficient then ANY OTHER crane company I've EVER worked for worldwide!

Then why did they go out of business?

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Gripper2 in El Cajon, California

35 months ago

SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia said: Am curious to know if driving cranes is a career choice women make in the U.S. There is only a few of us in Australia. I'd like to talk with my peers in my industry about our experiences.

Responding to the original posting by SMP, we do have a female crane operator at my job. I am a crane rigger at NASSCO in San Diego. NASSCO is the largest shipyard on the West Coast.
She was hired in as a rigger about 5 yrs ago. It wasn't long before she was offered to train as a crane operator. We have many types of cranes at NASSCO. She trained and became qualified as a gantry crane or whirly crane operator.
From the 1st day, she fit in with the all male department and does a great job.
If you like, I will point her in this direction so you may have discussions.
Have a nice day.

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misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

35 months ago

Thanks Gripper2.. Your post made me smile. Good to hear a positive story. She sounds like a great person

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misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana

35 months ago

SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia said: Am curious to know if driving cranes is a career choice women make in the U.S. There is only a few of us in Australia. I'd like to talk with my peers in my industry about our experiences.

reading these post, I really like your style. lol... You stirred it up.. lol. please keep in contact..

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Gripper2 in California

35 months ago

misstaken in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: EXCUSE ME... We are not trying and trying to make a career out of crane work... WE ARE!..I am a female crane operator (12 Years now). Some men welcome you, some try to run you off. It is more than being a good operator, you have to be able to work with people that think you are a novelty or joke. You have to work with men who feel their manhood is threatened by females in the field. I get along with everyone, but I have had to work harder to gain respect, due to the fact I am a female.

Yes, MissTaken, it is a fact that females hiring into a trade that is predominantly held by men can have its challenges. "Novelty" is somewhat of a fair description and as you know, it's not easy to break through that view that some people have. Admittedly, I was surprised to see a female and I was curious to see how she would work out. I remember that a couple of times she cried about the difficulty a couple of guys would give her. I felt bad for her but she set it aside and continued to be herself.
On the lighter side, keep in mind that it isn't only her that takes crap from people when first hired. Think about the guy that gets paired with her. That poor soul suddenly became a novelty himself and had to listen to the other guys senseless babbling and ribbing. Yeah, it was me, hahahah. It was ok though because she definitely had my back and wouldn't let anyone talk trash about me.
It is kinda surprising in this day and age that there are still occupations that females haven't crossed into in greater numbers.
I'm beginning to think if we didn't have a firm grip as sperm donors, we may become obsolete, HAHA. Sorry 'bout that, just playing around:)

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iron nut in Australia

35 months ago

SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia said: Am curious to know if driving cranes is a career choice women make in the U.S. There is only a few of us in Australia. I'd like to talk with my peers in my industry about our experiences.

SMP works on the job site with me and is a very good rigger and have been told she is one of better crane operators in Aussie

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41ws2 in La Marque, Texas

33 months ago

misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: Local 406 Does not hire female crane operators... They turned me down too. Refused to sell me a book too.

I worked out of 406 at lock and dam 5 on the Red River.I wasnt impressed at all and will NEVER work union again....do you run crawlers...friction ...drive pile ect....I just left a highway project in Livonia...they need someone for a 248 Link Belt.Ive never met a female operator. 12 years and still in the trade is respectable for anyone male or female the way its changed in the last ten or so years smrichardson52@yahoo.com lets talk bout it

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Danielle Adelaide in Melbourne, Australia

33 months ago

sm.pearce@bigpond.com in Adelaide, Australia said: This is great. I was feeling so alone. We are out there. I would like to talk more with all you ladies. Keep up the good work.

Been craning in Adelaide for 3 years now. Worked in various fields as a head turner in a man's world since 1997 with a 1968 Dodge tow truck.
People that want to test me or judge me dont really bother me anymore. I know Im acomplished at what I do. Its not worth worrying or being hurt over. They dont know me.
I often forget Im unusual. Sill, inside, Im proud everyday. Just glad I dont work with women obssessed with curtains and shoes.
Is there any other ladies craning in Adelaide?
KEEP FOCUS

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Robbie in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

31 months ago

I get made fun of all the time as a crane operator!! More so because I am less than 5 feet tall, rather than a woman, and have to really struggle to climb up on my equipment... LOL It's a great trade and very rewarding, especially when the guys finally get over themselves and start treating you normal. :)

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Robbie in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

31 months ago

I get made fun of all the time as a crane operator!! More so because I am less than 5 feet tall, rather than a woman, and sometimes I have to really struggle to climb up on my equipment when it's set up... LOL It's a great trade and very rewarding, especially when the guys finally get over themselves and start treating you normal. :)

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Robbie in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

31 months ago

Please excuse the multiple posts. The service here is terrible.

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Robbie in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland

31 months ago

Please excuse the multiple posts. The service here is terrible!

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Kelly in Denham Springs, Louisiana

31 months ago

41ws2 in La Marque, Texas said: I worked out of 406 at lock and dam 5 on the Red River.I wasnt impressed at all and will NEVER work union again....do you run crawlers...friction ...drive pile ect....I just left a highway project in Livonia...they need someone for a 248 Link Belt.Ive never met a female operator. 12 years and still in the trade is respectable for anyone male or female the way its changed in the last ten or so years smrichardson52@yahoo.com lets talk bout it

You wont see a female operator in Local 406, because they don't sell females books. I know this first hand.
Kelly

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Kelly in Denham Springs, Louisiana

31 months ago

offthehook said: I went to ABC and graduated top of the class but I haven't gotten much seat time. I've work with non union companies. I tried to get in the union. That didn't happen. I got tired of fighting for a job. I got asked by a foreman on a job " what's. Your old man do to get you this job." Why when a woman gets a good job do men think that another man has to give her a boost?

Local 406 refused to sell me a book.. Dont know if that is legal, but it is certainly unethical.
Kelly

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Melody in Culpeper, Virginia

28 months ago

I've been working as a tower crane operator for the past 8 years and i agree with all the posts on here, you have to work a lot harder for respect. I work in Washington DC and there are only 2 female operators in the area-that i know of-. The DC area is mostly non-union and can be very difficult. My father is a tower crane operator so its made it easy for me to get into this field of work and the other female operator her dad was a boss in the company and shes been doing it for 20 years plus. Its been great talking to her on the CB because she can help me out when there are questionable things happening, How did you all get in the Field???

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Ela E in Cocoa, Florida

28 months ago

misstaken77 in Denham Springs, Louisiana said: Okay with 13 years experience.. NCCCO certified and a perfect safety recorder, a man is with less qualifications is always given preference over me. So I don't believe you know what is really going on in the REAL WORLD...

You hit the nail on the head. I have been ignored on many jobs i have more qualifications and operated with pride and have done a very good job. But yet they will train men to operate before they will hire a woman. I have been there. And i am going to fight it.I worked to damn hard to prove myself to let some greenhorn bump me out of the seat. But on the construction sight its the buddy system.All GF, Formans and superatendents,will train a man before they put an experience and qualilfied woman in the crane.And i am getting sick of it .I have been out of work for 1 1/2 years and the company i have been working for does not approve of a woman operator. I had to fight for it on each job with this company.

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sm.pearce@bigpond.com in Australia

27 months ago

After 13 years in the industry with the last 5 in Heavy Lift operations, I have finally become a Crane and Rigging Supervisor! I have a young Kiwi Lady who is an Advanced Rigger I would like on my crew. I'm sure her enthusiasm and willingness to learn will take her far and I will encourage her to get her crane ticket when the time is right. We are proving that this is a viable industry in Australia for women.

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sydonie in Auckland, New Zealand

27 months ago

SMP_ in Newcastle, Australia said: Am curious to know if driving cranes is a career choice women make in the U.S. There is only a few of us in Australia. I'd like to talk with my peers in my industry about our experiences.

HI there... Im in New Zealand, does that count? Been in the crane for only 3 years. Not looking for respect, Just want to do my job. My digger drivers think im cool anyway! Might take a leap and jump over to aus, and check out the jobs there.

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Cranelady in Riverside, California

26 months ago

I'm a female Tower Crane Operator. I've been working out of Los Angeles and San Diego for the past 5 years. Once people get over the initial surprise that I am the operator, we all get along and my work speaks for itself. I didn't set out to prove anything or break new ground taking on this line of work. I'm just trying to support my little family and do the best at my job. My reality to crane operating is ”I just move things from one place to another.” I treat everyone with respect and they reciprocate.
If anyone would like to chat, I'm at cranelady@yahoo.com
Be safe and keep skilling

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Johnnybgood in Perth, Australia

26 months ago

Hi to All,
I have been in the crane & Rigging industry in Australia and in the middle east since 1966, yeah, that's a long time. I have recently started a web site for training and am affiliated with a training organisation here in Perth. We are putting together a recruitment arm to our organisation, specialising in the supply of quality operators and riggers to the Australian (and any other country) that has a need for these people. This system is working very well in the UK and the idea is operators of all types of cranes and riggers can register with us. We will assess each persons experience and if needed, provide additional training to suit an employers needs. Unlike other recruitment agencies we are only dealing with these two trades, because that's our life. Women are encouraged to register or train to be crane operators and Riggers. If you are not interested, then perhaps you may know someone who is.
Check out my website www.constructionskillstraining-global.com or you can email me at rjcole@constructionskillstraining-global.com
Good luck to all in your chosen careers.
John

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HeelsNWheels in Sydney, Australia

26 months ago

How wonderful to discover this dscussion! I've been working in the Metal/Engineering field for about ten years and am going to speak to a potential (crane) employer this afternoon. I have my truck license and was considering full-time driving, but a crane opportunity might be available to me, so am keen to read all your experiences. I'll let you know how I go.

Warm regards,
Heels

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