Women in Trades Blog Series: M

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M’s logging truck

M. is a logging truck operator based out of Kamloops. She requested we do a phone interview as she is not fond of typing. She had sent along a few really great pictures that I inserted while I waited eagerly for her call. And she called! After doing a long shift working on a fire in Savona!

I asked her to tell us about her job.

“I am a logger. I drive a Super B. I have been hauling for 10 years but I started shake block logging at runtime when I was a teenager. I started going for the summers with family; I come from a logging family. Most people know me. But most that see me are really shocked at my small size and the big equipment I am driving! (M. is 5’4 and 103 lbs!)”

I asked her if her gender plays a role in her work life.

“On a regular basis. It is the older drivers who do not believe I belong on the hill because I am a female.

One time, about six years ago, there was this guy who refused to shake my hand. He said, ‘What? You don’t want a family? Shouldn’t you be at home raising kids?’ He refused to call me on the radio and did not look after my safety.

In M.’s experience, there are men out there who refuse her because she is diminishing their masculinity. They don’t like a tiny lady doing their job.

There are absolutely no other women entering the logging industry. The females end up in the scales shacks punching the weights. They are not out putting 87 pound chains on.

Before my hysterectomy I had my period and had to change it out on the side of the road. Sometimes I had no choice but I had to do what I had to do. Too bad, deal with it, but periods were definitely a problem.”

When asked what improvements need to be made and what the future of gender shared work places in trades industries should look like, her is what she had to say:

“For logging? Acceptance from the men. That we are equal. We just want to support our families like the rest of you.

Equality and acceptance are needed. We are all human and we all want to support our families.

My girls and I spend holidays handing out hot chocolates and doing whatever for people in need. We give back. We are kind and want to make people happy.

***

Thank you M. for contributing. And thank you for such a great conversation. You are funny and real and have so much more to say in future discussions.

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One of M’s logging trucks

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