Here are just a few of the many women who make up the diverse workforce of PSNS & IMF today. Listen to them talk with interviewer Marina Hernandez about their careers and experiences.
Linda Coburn began working at PSNS & IMF as a Pipefitter in the Helper-Trainee program in 1979. She became the first woman to go through the Pipefitter Apprenticeship, graduating early and earning the honor of Apprentice of the Year. In 1987, she became the first female Progressman. Coburn worked as a Business Agent in the Business Office before retiring with over 34 years of government service in February 2011. Corburn's interview was recorded in 2010.
Quote: "I felt like I had to work harder to prove myself because I was always being watched...The Shop head would always call the instructor and ask him how 'Linda' was doing ... the instructor kept telling him, 'You know, she's doing great, she's top of her class. Don't worry about her." - Linda Coburn
Click to listen to Linda's interview.
When Christina Huff was initially hired at PSNS & IMF as a Clerk-Typist, she was looking for a temporary job. Twenty-one years later, she is now the Shop 64 Process Manager for the Sail Loft. She graduated from the Apprentice Program as a Nuclear Mechanic. She later worked as a trade instructor for the Apprentice Program, a First-Line Supervisor, and a General Foreman. Huff's interview was recorded in 2010.
Quote: "You didn't see very many women. The women that you did see were perceived as very masculine ... It's almost as if they had to squelch their femininity - that was my perception. But that soon changed ... more and more on the waterfront you saw women of different backgrounds, different education levels, different career goals."Christina Huff
Click to listen to Christina's interview.
Catherine Jett began her career at PSNS & IMF in 1981 as a welder. After working as a Helper and a Limited, she graduated from the Sheet Metal Apprenticeship. For the past eleven years she has been working as a Nuclear Planner. One of the original founding members of PSNS Women in Trades, she also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Women in Trades organization. Jett's interview was recorded in 2010.
Quote: "There were so few women out there, trying to find a bathroom was a challenge, especially a clean, working one. It could take you 15 minutes of walking to find a bathroom and now they are available - clean - everyday, which is really nice. That's the biggest thing." - Catherine Jett
Click to listen to Catherine's interview.
In 1979 at age 17, Lori Tobin was hired as a Clerk-Typist, but she has spent the majority of her 31 years at PSNS & IMF in Shop 64. She began as an apprentice and mechanic, became a First-Line Supervisor and a General Foreman, and eventually a Zone Manager, Senior Process Manager, Nuclear Director, and Shop Superintendent. Currently, she is the Project Superintendent for the USS Los Angeles. Tobin's interview was recorded in 2010.
Quote: "I'm not built like a male. I don't have the upper body strength, so it's gonna maybe take me two trips to do that ... I think I've done a good job making sure that the women know that's ok. Recognize that challenge but then figure out how you can continue to do your portion of the job and do it well. " - Lori Tobin
Click to listen to Lori's interview.