Female truck driver finds herself unwelcome on oil rigs

Female truck driver finds herself unwelcome on oil rigsS. Jessop shares her unique experience being a truck driver for an oil rig in this career interview. She shares what it was like having men not want her on their rigs just because she was female, and how she constantly has to work harder than others in her field to prove herself because of her gender. Whether you are male or female, if you’re thinking about a career in truck driving, this interview is for you!

What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field? How would you describe yourself using only three adjectives?
I am a truck driver working in the oil field. I have 7 1/2 years of driving tractor trailer. I would describe myself as dedicated, trustworthy, and caring.

What’s your ethnicity and gender? How has it hurt or helped you? If you ever experienced discrimination, how have you responded and what worked best? Do you speak another language, and has it been helpful in your career?
I am female. It seems like I have always had to prove myself since I have worked in mostly a “mans” job occupational field. In the oil field they just didn’t want me there. A lot of the men said flat out that women didn’t belong in the oil field. I did my job better than most, some people at the rigs would tell my dispatcher that they wanted me on their rig, and I was told that I worked circles around most of the men, but that wasn’t enough to get over the prejudice of most of the workers. I am an outgoing person, very friendly to everyone. In hind sight, I should have kept to myself and been invisible I guess. After 4 months of harassment I started keeping to myself, but that didn’t help, so, I lasted 3 more months and then quit.

How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do?
I haul fresh water to rigs when they are getting ready to frac the well. They shoot the water down the well at 8000 psi to break up the rock, shale, etc to get the minerals. I haul off what they call flow back, the fresh water after it has gone down the well. After the well is set, gas, oil and lease water is sent through a separator. The poison H2S is removed from the gas and it is sent down the gas line to sell, the water and oil is then separated and they go to their own tanks, usually 3 tanks for each so nothing overflows. I go in and pull the lease water out and take it to salt water disposals. New wells can produce 200 barrels an hour, our rigs can only hold 130, so it can be very busy. What I would like to change is the misconception that women can’t do this job. Its hard work, but that’s what I love about it.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm?
I rate it right now at a 4. The thing that needs to change, is being taken seriously. I have a good head on my shoulders, I can see things that would make our jobs easier but I’m not taken seriously.

If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you?
I love driving. It was my sweet spot, but I am at a crossroads in my life. Do what I love and be alone or find a new passion and have a social life. I choose social life. I love to bake, make jewelry, read and photography. Those are the areas that I am looking into now.

Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments?
I have been all over the lower 48 and Canada. I wanted off the road so I could have some kind of social life. Since the 7 month struggle I have had here, I’m not sure what to do, all available driving jobs are in the oil field it seems. I have been looking for another career in some of my other interests. I believe that if you love what you do you will never WORK a day in your life. My mother is 90 years old and still does what she loves 30 hours a week. Having mostly trucking and construction in my background, It has been difficult to get in the door to start a new career. I WILL persevere.

How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change?
I got started back in 1985. I was 6 months pregnant, and my (then) husband was driving truck. We were going through Nevada and he got very sick and our load had to be in LA. He told me I was going to have to drive, and that out in the desert I couldn’t hurt anything… So, a truck driver was born!

If I could go back, I would have learned other aspects of the transportation industry, it would have opened more career opportunities for when I got older.

What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this lesson?
I just kept doing what I loved and never looked long term. I am now at an age that pulling a flatbed or a tanker is out of the question. I hate pulling reefer or dry van, (to much time setting.)

What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world?
To prepare for retirement when you are young enough to have the time to save for it… My boys are 25 and 30 and they both are focused on retirement.

What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you in this job?
I went to a location where the well was set and the fluids were pumping into the stock tanks. It was about 11pm. When I pulled on to the location I got a strange feeling, (goose bumps) I pulled around to load. I couldn’t get my pump to work, it would start then stop. Nothing would work. I had a very uneasy feeling, kept looking behind me felt like I was being watched. You have to understand, these locations are out in remote areas of northwestern Oklahoma, nothing for miles and miles. I couldn’t get anything done. I called another driver he said that it was on Native American burial land, and there was a little prayer you had to say. I told him to come do it; I wasn’t going to, I thought he was pulling my leg. He came and said the prayer and he got loaded no problems… I never went back there!

Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud?
I am proud of what I do. I feel I do a great service for Americans. We bring food, clothes, vehicles, building material, fuels to stay warm, etc. Local drivers take grain and hay out of the field… we move America.

What kind of challenges do you face and what makes you just want to quit?
The challenges that I face are inner city traffic like Dallas at 5pm. Staying current with all the DOT regulations and knowing the local and state laws.

The only thing that makes me want to quit is not being able to have a social life, being single and on the road all the time is very hard and lonely.

How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable
or healthy work-life balance? How?

This job can be very stressful, but if you love it you take it in stride because you love what you do. Truck driving is a career that you HAVE to love to do it.

What’s a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means?
Oilfield work is great with pay from $3000 to 6000 a month. You work about 70 hrs in 6 days in the oil positions. For local hauling jobs, it pays on average 1200 – 1500 a month. Over the road (OTR) trucking pays 4000-10000 a month, but that depends on whether you work for a company as an employee, or own your own. I grossed 189,000 when I owned my own rig.

How much vacation do you take? Is it enough?
I have never taken a vacation. When I was OTR, I owned my own rig so I would intentionally take jobs that would take me to the towns where my friend and family lived and just take a few days or a week off to spend time with them. A company driver can’t do that and they usually get 2 days off for every 2 or 3 weeks out on the road.

What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field?
Today you have to go to truck driving school. I would say Schneider National has the best, they teach you to handle the truck in different situations, like hydroplane, ice etc.

What would you tell a friend considering your line of work?
Take a hard look at it. If you are considering OTR, make sure you like being alone a lot unless you run team, them make sure you can live in a 6×6 space with someone else. Any driving job you take you have to be on your A game. Most of the people on the road with you have little or no respect for what you are driving, and it can be dangerous.

If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years?
I would love to go to pastry school and open my own bakery



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  • God Bless You! It’s unfortunate that you had a negative experience, but I am certain God will reward your efforts. I feel sorry for the poor souls that can’t get over their petty jealousies and have to compensate their own inadequacies by putting down a fellow human. God bless them, may they find the love that they are so desperately in need of. Peace on earth, good will to ALL men and women!

  • I call  Bull on this story, there are to many women that are out here in the oil field for me or anyone that knows to believe you. And most of them have been here for more than 7 months. Admit it, you either got on the bad side of someone or you were incapable of doing what was required of you. This is not the 1950s. Any woman who can do what is required out here is welcome, and in most cases not treated much different from any man.

    • HALLELUIAH!! DEBORAH!! FINALLY someone on this thread who makes perfect sense! All I see here are victims and man haters! Men will be men and they won’t change for you and you won’t change for them! I don’t want men to change because I don’t have any problems with them that I can’t fix!
      I am 63 years old and don’t look or act it and have always been very feminine and pretty darn good lookin’ if I say so myself! I have worked in factories and in a steel mill back in the late 70’s! Try doing that girls! I worked in the labor gang cleaning 27 restrooms a day and handling 50 gallon barrels full of trash, lifting them from the ground to the top of the dumpster, by myself, to name a few of my duties! I did not complain and didn’t want to because that was part of the job I signed on to do! Either I could do it or I couldn’t and I did NOT ask for help from anybody! I was a pipe/plate grinder and then became a mill wright apprentice. One of the men told me that I should let another man have that apprenticeship because they have families to feed and I should step aside! Without missing a beat I said, “And I don’t have a family to feed and bills to pay?? Riggghht!” That was the end of that! I have had my share of harassment both demeaning and sexual but I did NOT take it personally! I dealt with it intelligently!

      I have driven eighteen wheelers over a million miles between 1984 and now, running both by myself and team driving, pulling dry vans, reefers, flat beds, and tankers full of caustic materials, by myself! Due to recent trucking regulations I have had to go out with female trainers before I could go out on my own. Let me tell you the women I have dealt with in trucking feel the same way Deborah and I do! There are lots of women, both black and white, driving solo! You girls apparently are not looking up at who’s driving trucks these days! There are a whole lot more women than there used to be! Shippers and receivers have been very nice to me because I have acted in a professional manner! If they were grumpy it’s probably because they are having a bad day, not because I’m a woman for crying out loud!

      The kinds of attitudes presented in this thread is EXACTLY why women are not treated better in the male arena! If you are going to act like a victim and look for harassment every where you go in the man’s world, that is exactly what you are going to get! I know, you will say you didn’t ask for it! I don’t believe you because I have been there and learned from it quickly! Learn how to handle the situation instead of screaming foul! I know you feel that you should be respected for coming into a man’s field! Lots of women do come into a man’s field and expect men to do the heavy lifting while the woman just sits back and expects him to do her work too! I have seen that and it’s disgusting! You’ve got to hold up your end of the log, too, girlies! I personally understand why men resent women because all women do is take everything the man says to them personally! Guess what? Men pick on each other the same way they pick on you! Men want to see what your reaction will be to see if you can possibly fit in but a lot of you blow it by being offended!

      I worked in a secretarial pool years ago and the women in that pool were far worse than any man! They were very vindictive! I got stepped on and not included in conversations and not picked for higher job placement! If you girls think about it, I’m sure you will look at most of the women you have dealt with and you will see the same thing!

      Wish I knew where you were, Deborah! I’m trying to drive in the oil fields myself! I just started looking! I hope that my chances haven’t been hurt by women that have gone ahead of me who have the same attitudes as the women here! I CAN HANDLE IT!

  • I can relate to this story very well. A few years ago I worked for the MinuteMaid Company as a forklift driver. It is not common to be a female forklift driver, so I was harrassed quite often. Guys would either try to hit on me, or they would hate on me. It was a tough time but I stuck it out until the plant closed. One thing I learned from that experience was what does not kill you makes you stronger. There were some days I would go in the locker room and just cry because I was so miserable. But I needed the money to support myself and my daughter. I never gave up because I did not want to give anyone that kind of power over me. I was so proud of myself for hanging in there until the end. Even though it was hard, it was a very rewarding experience.

  • I applaud Jessop for being such a strong and couragous woman. She proved to many men as well as the world that women are just as capable of performing a truck driver job effective and efficient just as well as a man, if not better.

  • I understand the frustration of being in a “man’s” world. I spent 5 years in a male dominated company as a manager. I was treated so much differently and expected to do 3 times the work of the men. It can be extremely frustrating when no matter what you do, you still aren’t good enough. I finally left after 5 years which was one of the easiest and hardest decisions I had to make. I truly believe that good things happen to those who wait. I “did my time” and am now pursuing my accounting degree and landed an amazing job with one of the top 100 female owned companies in the metro area. I wish S. Jessop the best of luck and hope that she too is able to pursue her dreams. My only advice is to be patient, although sometimes it’s hard, and you will know when the time is right to change your life’s path.

  • Though I have never worked in the capacity as Jessop being the only female, I can attest to the loneliness of just being an outsider. I have always worked in Fortune 500 companies. However, I never saw anyone who looked like me – a minority female. I always felt uncomfortable and not appreciated for my education and work experience. Despite the lack of diversity in corporations I have worked, I managed to work twice as hard and be as dependable or even more dependable to prove that I was serious about my job.
    As women, we tend to be taken for granted when we try to break barriers in male-dominated fields. We suffer a lot of ridicule and backlash, but never a hand of welcome to make us feel that what we are trying to do is okay. Some jobs may be ideally designed for men, but if a woman is willing and able to put in the hardwork and dedication, then why can’t she be given a chance?

  • I agree with the fact that both genders hold too much angst toward each with certain aspects of life. I am the third born female in my family but my mother wanted a boy so I ended up with the name Jamie Jo, also with a more masculine thought process. So the things like fashion, make-up, hair, and other feminine things I truly lack at them. I am a brilliant young woman and I will succeed in my career choice not because of what was expected of me by others but because of what I expect of myself.

  • I live in a town where most work some how deals with the oilfields. As a woman it is at time furstrating to sit an watch guy after guy get a great job doing work in the oilfields. Most of them only have a high school diploma. They are able to make a living working hard non the less, but it just seems so much easier. For a woman it seems like you have to go through the entire school process and would never even be considered to do any of the work in the oilfields. I think taht it is inspiring to read a story like this one. Although she put up with a lot she has not only inspired me to continue to work hard, but I am sure that there are many other woman that have been inspired as well.

  • I too picked a profession in a mainly male dominate world,
    fire fighting. At the age of 15 I decided to join a volunteer fire department
    in southern Indiana. I had just moved to southern Indiana from Chicago, had no
    friends and nothing to do. I thought this would be a way to meet new people and
    have something to do with my time. What I had not realized is that this was
    going to start a love and passion that I turned into a career, when for a little
    while at least.

    By the time I was 21 I knew this is what I wanted to do as
    my profession and I had taken all the required courses and got the
    certifications it would take to apply to a career department, paid. I applied
    to my first department and got hired! What I did not know upon my hire was that
    I was leaving the world of volunteering, where women are accepted, and entering
    the world a career, where women are not accepted.

    My first day on the job I walked in and realized there were
    no other women in this orientation; it was me and 6 males. I went through
    orientation where the guys gave me a hard time constantly challenging me and my
    knowledge. After a week of this I was finally given my shift and put to work. I
    was excited. I could not believe I was actually working as a paid firefighter.

    I walked in my first day to questions. I felt like I was
    interviewing all over again for this job. I was proving myself to my partners,
    all males. No matter how many times I proved myself to them it was never good
    enough. They had more questions and test of skills they asked of me. The entire
    staff even had to take a course and even though I scored higher than anyone
    else they still continued to test me.

    I worked for about 2 years this way. Then one day I came in
    for my shift and my battalion chief pulled me into his office. He wanted to
    discuss how my gear was hanging on the rack; mind you I had done it this way
    for 2 years now. We discussed this and I was told I needed to be hanging it the
    same way as my partners. So I changed my ways and did it like them. Then I got
    pulled in again for something different and again and again. Until finally I
    felt as if no matter how many times I change my ways or prove I can do the job
    just as good if not better as my male counterparts it would never be good
    enough and I quit.

    I decided then that I wanted to continue to help people.
    However I decided I wanted to help people that could not always help
    themselves. That is why today I am pursuing a degree in human services and will
    be graduating in 6 months with my degree.

    I had to find a new passion and calling where I was not only
    accepted but also appreciated and that I have. There is no better feeling then
    seeing the smile on the face of a 9 year old little boy who has Down syndrome
    that you just helped build a Lego house with.

  • I particularly like the fact that you stood your ground, with
    those bull headed men that were trying to push you around and tell you what you
    could and couldn’t do. It is not fair to us women that we have to work twice as
    hard to be on the same level with men in certain jobs just because of our
    gender. More and more women are taking a stand and staying motivated and
    focused to show men that they are not the only ones who can do certain jobs and
    I am glad that you are one of them. I pray that you get into that pastry school,
    because I think you would make an awesome baker. Stay strong and encouraged god
    bless you.

  • I lived in small town here in Nevada and found that I dealt with the same things Ms. Jessop has been dealing with. I worked for a security company for over four years and dealt with constant harassment because I was a young female who was also promoted to a supervisory role. I suppose you could say that I was the owner’s assistant and assistant manager for this company.

    I remember dealing with one specific gentleman who was much older than me, who had been working security his entire lifetime. He absolutely hated that I was his supervisor and constantly ignored my requests to come to work in uniform. I remember feeling self doubt and depression because of this older gentleman and the things he would say to me. I felt degraded and unworthy. But I overcame those feelings when I spoke with the owner of the company who informed me that as a younger women in a man’s career field, I would deal with things like this later in my life.

    I remember walking up to the older gentleman and told him, ” Sir, I understand why you dislike me so much. I commend you for saying the things you said and how you feel. But as your supervisor for this company, I have a right to be heard and be respected. I may be a younger female working in a man’s field, but I can hold my own and do the job just as well as a man. So please sir, put aside our differences so we can better this company by working as a team and not against one another.”

    After saying what I felt I needed to say that night, that gentleman respected me more for what I had said. He also warmed up to me being his supervisor and began listening to everything I had to tell him and never once had another issue after that day.

  • My best friend is a truck driver and a woman. I understand where the discrimination in that field can drive a woman to want to quit. Fortunately, after a few years on the job everyone became very accepting since she was one of the greatest drivers in the company. She enjoys driving very much and still to this day continues to drive.

  • For a woman this was a brave choice to make in a line of work. I comend her in her choice and sticking with it even though she would have to overcome many barriers, and show that hse has what it takes to do the job, I can understand her wantng to go back to and learn to bake and follow her dream of owning a backery, I more tham most can understand this as I too am going through the same choice and trying to become more than I was before with school and an education.

  • This gives me a whole new appreciation for the truck drivers that we drive past daily on the roads. Anyway, this story has been really eye-opening and from Jessop’s experience I have learned three things:
    A career path sometimes starts unsolicited, unplanned and unhindered. As a woman, I don’t expect to one day find myself in a position where I am needed, required even, to drive a truck to make a time-sensitive delivery, on an unfamiliar road, pregnant. And yet we see here that we cannot really predict all the things that are possible in the world, and sometimes a career can crop up out of the most random situations. Jessop started a career in truck driving in the most unlikely of situations.
    The money isn’t everything. It colors almost every decision we make as adults, but at the end of the day, there has got to be more. Jessop left a job that grossed her $189,000. Enough said.
    You have to love your work to love any type of work. Loving what you do- searching for and finding ways in which your daily occupation gives your life meaning and meshes your interests with your financial needs- is paramount to determining how long you will stay in a career and how fondly you will look back on it. Jessop experienced discrimination, spooky jobs, and cramped living, but at the end of the day, she says what you absolutely need to have is LOVE for the job.
    Jessop’s story says yes, a woman can do anything, but is proving that more important than finding the thing you REALLY love (in her case, baking) and can remain passionate about long-term?

  • I can relate to her story somewhat as I also experienced several forms of different discrimination as a female truck driver.

  • I love that women challenge themselves. I always tell my daughter it doesnt matter if it is a man or woman sport/job it just matters that you can do it, and you may even do it better. She loves basketball, people always tell her it is for boys, she dribbles, shoots, and guards better than any boy in her age group. Its a sport for who ever has the talent to be successsful, just like anything else.

  • I think that the typical job that a woman was once bonded to has changed. A woman truck driver in these days are very normal in the city from which I grew up and in other cities. I think that it is awesome, that women are blazing through jobs that were once only a man’s job. Especially in the oilfield area. Eventhough, i live in Louisiana so most men have oilfield jobs and most women do not, i still think it is awesome that one female decided to set the standard for other females to come.

  • I commend you and every woman that works in a male dominated field. It is not only hard because everyone is expecting you to fail just because you are a woman, but because you want to be the example for other women. There’s still a long way to go in equality in the workplace contrary to how far we may think we are. People like you get us one step closer. Keep the faith and keep up the great work.

  • I am a teacher in a non-traditional career environment. I teach an Automotive Technology Course in a small oilfield driven town with an approximate population of 15,000. Before becoming a Career and Technical Education Instructor, I was employed by an oilfield company contracting for Aera Energy.
    Unfortunately gender bias is something we will encounter for many years to come. It is unfortunate that ability cannot trump sexism in this case. There are laws governing sexual harassment and in this situation I believe there is adequate grounds for a case.
    Fortunately, I am in a position where I can promote non-traditional careers to females. I believe strongly in equal opportunity and have set up an articulation program with one of the local Junior Colleges that provides incentives such as priority registration and job placement for women in a non-traditional field.
    It has been a long road and I believe there is still much work to do with regards to accepting females into the industrial technology side of the work force. But with perseverance and hard work, one day we will eradicate the astigmatism that encompasses the oilfield industry.

  • My job where I am is considered a man’s job as well. I had to learn to be tough fast or find a new profession. There are not very many men out there used to working with women cooks so I have to prove myself every day and be constantly on top of my game. II have found that men do eventually respect a woman that can cook just as well as they can if not better.

  • Growing up my mother was also in a “mans career choice”. She was a construction worker on dirt crew, or a landscaper, or she did concrete. My mom was in the same boat as the gal in this story. No matter how hard she worked, and she could also work circles around most of them, they didn’t want a woman in their field.

    I used to worry about my mom, and sometimes I still do. She used to work so hard and for such long hours that I wouldn’t see her for days. Then when I finally did see her, she hurt, and she was tired. She worked the way she did because for one, she loved it, and two, she was a single woman with three kids to feed and take care of.

    The one thing my mom never wanted me to do was have to work as hard as she did, although I could. She wanted me to have a career where it wouldn’t hurt me, where I could make good money and be able to stay home with my family and not miss the important things in life. My mom is 40 and will soon have to go in for back surgery because of the years spent working the way she did. It has taken some time but I now know what I want to do with my life. And to my mothers wonder its not as physically demanding as she thought it would end up being. I’m going to major in communication where most of my chosen career will be spent on a computer or phone. She is very excited and so am I.

  • I admire your ability to find something that you enjoy and
    then go after it. It is very ironic how you came into such a field. When my
    boyfriend and I first met eachother, he would take me with him on some of his
    out of town routes. One night, in the middle of the desert, he let me try and
    take the wheel to see how I would do. At that time, he didn’t know that I was
    prior military and my position use to be a MotorTransporter. I took that wheel
    and allowed for him to walk me through what I was doing, how to shift gears
    ect…He felt proud to think he was a good teacher and explaining to me how to
    drive a Semi truck, needless to say, I finally told him where my real knowledge
    of truck driving came from. In my opinion, you cant get better training then in
    the military.

    I wish I would of heard that you decided to stay with the
    oil company out there in oklahoma, at least to prove over time that you were
    worthy of being in the oil industry just as much as the men. I do understand
    how being a truck driver can take a toll on your social life. My boyfriend is
    still a truck driver and goes out of town all the time, leaving me at home to
    care for our two young children. In this economy though, you have to go where
    the money is in order to pay the bills, especially when you have a family to

    I watch Ice Road Truckers all the time on television.
    Driving all over those lakes covered in ice and it just makes me cringe when i
    see the ice crack underneath the semi truck when they roll on over. The
    trucking industry is a hard place to work, but I feel is the most successful
    with job opportunities these days. I hope you stay true to what you want to do
    in life as far as what you enjoy. I agree that when you enjoy a job, it is no
    longer work, it becomes a hobby. The best of luck to you and your interview
    touched me how you stand up for women all over. We may be women, but that makes
    us no different. Do you see women complain because there are male hair
    dressers? I dont think so.

  • I lost my brother in a tractor trailer accident a few years back. I have much respect for both men and women that bravely truck these roads. As tiresome and dreading driving may be – these individuals provide our stores with our necessities. They don’t get the respect the deserve as other drivers feel a rig is associated with being bigger and intimidating on the road. However, if it supplies a family with money and you know how to handle and operate it, why not?
    I have conversed with many owners of rigs and HE says, “I would hire a woman any time to drive my rigs. To ensure safety, in most stressful situations, women will still check the trucks to ensure safety, and be responsbile, let alone take care of the truck as it if was hers!”
    Amazing story! Lots of dedication and determination!

  • I have driven a semi as well it is fun and interesting work. I have seen alt of the United States. But however it is difficult to be accepted as a female truck driver. When you pull into a weigh station or truck stop you don’tsee many females as small as I am climb out from the drivers seat. You hav eto deal with alot of colorful names and the like. But it didn’t change my mind at the time I enjoyed being my own boss, not having someone looking over my shoulder at every other minute. It was difficult sitting still for so many hours of the day that is why i got outof that line of work.

  • I too believe that if you love what you do you will never WORK another day in your life. You demonstrate a sign of true strength by stepping in a career dominated by men and demonstrating the ability to compete although you didn’t have to. Your story provides women like myself the push needed to step inside those untapped career areas normally dominated by men. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Working for an energy plant in a very aggressive environment with mostly men employed from around the world. They put their fore-most forward so that this country has energy (Electric power) I am proud to say I was a part of this factor; however at what price as a female? Or at what cost in safety issues that arise?

  • I am not a truck driver, but I do know what it feels like to work in a field predominantly of males. I have faced discrimination by co-workers and my employer based off my gender, maternal responsibilities, age, and race. Not only was I told that I did not belong in that work environment, I was objectified; sexually assaulted by a co-worker, and terminated based off my sexual harassment complaint. As a woman, I feel we have the ability and skills to work as hard as any man, and we should be characterized by our substance and integrity and not by stereotypes and oppositions. However, adversities like this allow us become stronger and wiser, as well as push us towards greatness!

  • You’d think that in the year 2012, sexism would be more diminished that it is. It’s been going on for so long! As long as a woman has the needed experience, being a woman itself shouldn’t even be an obstacle.

  • Although, there seems to be a fine line between so called “Men and Women” Careers, I feel there is a need for women such as “S. Jessop” to become her own and create a path for women to “have the choice” of choosing any career and being accepted for their performance and not their gender.
    “Break the Barriers!!!!!”

  • This is an amazing story. I am glad to hear you continued trucking after the negative oil field experience. I worked as an office manager at a construction company when I was only 17. Every day for a year, I had at least one inappropriate comment made to me (either sexually harassing or condescending to my womanhood). I had no respect from any of the construction workers. The owner was not much different or nicer, either.

    I have a dream of opening my own bakery as well. I want to make cupcakes, but not the fancy kind everyone is going crazy over. I want to build a cupcakery that only has the “traditional” flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet. I want to bring gourmet quality cupcakes to families and parties without requiring a second mortgage. I went to a cupcakery in Las Vegas and for 6 chocolate cupcakes/chocolate frosting it was $25. That is not affordable for your average party. My dream is to be able to open my cupcakery when my son graduates high school. I know it’s about 13 years down the line, but I want enough time to pay down my student loans and have a college fund for him.

  • This is your passion and it is absolutely inspiring to read your story as you made sacrifices in order to continue to follow your dream and passion. It is always wonderful to read about barriers being broken and enduring hardships in order to make a better life for yourself. It is sad that there is still sexism, but i hope that you are happy now and accomplish all of your dreams, including your bakery business.

  • I
    feel as it should not matter who you are in any work field or society as long
    as you take care of yourself and do your job. I think if males think females cannot
    get the job done it is because they really cannot do the job or the females can
    do just as good as them therefore they do not want to feel like they are close
    or over matched by a female. There is nothing wrong with a female working in
    any male dominate field as long as she does her job, same for a male as long he
    does his job nobody should have a problem with either sex working there. People
    in the world today really have to stop with the discrimination we are all the
    same just in some different ways but never the less we need to help each other
    through this tuff journey we face

  • I am happy to see that in the end the women kept driving and doing her job, even though it was lots of negativity she turned it around to a positive. Good for her.

  • As a woman in Architecture I too often find myself struggling to prove myself as an equal in a “man’s” career. No one can deny the fact that a glass ceiling still exists for women. I’m empowered by this womans effort to keep doing what she loves and not letting these pressures get to her. Good for her!

  • I love seeing women’s independence and sticking to what they love. There might have been a lot of negative feeling towards her but she stuck it out as long as she could. This story inspires me to fufill my dreams and not let negative critism effect me and put me down.

  • I love seeing women’s independence and sticking to what they love. There might have been a lot of negative feeling towards her but she stuck it out as long as she could. This story inspires me to fufill my dreams and not let negative critism effect me and put me down.

  • I love seeing women’s independence and sticking to what they love. There might have been a lot of negative feeling towards her but she stuck it out as long as she could. This story inspires me to fufill my dreams and not let negative critism effect me and put me down.

  • This story should be and inspiration to every woman. You shouldn’t let anybody push you away from what you enjoy doing. I like the fact that she didn’t run away knowing the fact of how she was treated just for trying to make a living like anybody else. There will never be an understanding reason of why men feel intimated when a female decided to do a so called men job. Who’s to categorize what job is for any gender. I do agree a person will always enjoy what they desire to do then what you have to do. In my different job experience I’ve been in certain situations where the other gender tried to treat me as if I was beneath them, and we both had the same position. I did approach him and ask why he was having a problem with me. Is it because I’m a female? I didn’t appreciate the way he was treating me in front of the customers, like he was my boss. So I can understand what she went through when she was only trying to make a living for her family.

  • This interview is a testament that the unfortunate reality of female discrimination is still going on. It is something that is really looked over and that should not be allowed. Ms. Jessop is a great role model for combating gender discrimination. She strove to work hard and prove herself against prejudiced peers. I really like her comment on learning more about a wide field than just a single aspect of it. It has been something that affected my degree choice, for my first choice would have left me with very few opportunities in the future.

  • It is an absolute shame that these “men” and I use the term loosely, did not have the maturity to simple accept her as a fellow truck driver and allow her the opportunity to do her job. She does not sound like a quitter but unfortunately these “men” kept hammering away until they got what they wanted…for her to quit. Often these bullies feel vindicated when their victim does quit and will say “See, I told you so” as if a woman is too emotional to stand up to the rigors of the job and can’t handle the pressure when in fact, they are the ones applying the pressure to begin with and that is not fair. There are a lot of women who could easily provide for themselves and their family with a job like this, but sadly are seen as the enemy in male dominated well paying work environments, these men simply do not want to share they wealth.

  • I can relate to this story and I still have not even started working in an engineering feild. I remember the first day of college I was in my engineering design class and the teacher laughed at me for being the only girl in the entire group. He congratulated me, but it was laced with sarcasm. Ever since that day, I have had to work much harder than my male classmates to recieve even the slightest recognition.
    All my life I have been told that I will never be able to keep up with the boys. When I broke my arm dirtbiking, I was told I should not have been aloud on the dirtbike in the first place. When I try to play football with other guys, they will not let me join. Of course when I tell people I want to be an engineer I get criticisized as well.
    I feel like people pretend that our society is no longer sexist, but I am sadly aware that many people have still not recognized the usefullness of women in the workfeild. I have recieved the highest grades out of the entire male-dominated engineering classes, and people have still doubted my ability to do the thing that I love the most

  • I can relate to this story being a female myself. A lot of people underestimate females in an
    authority position or any position that has high responsibility. Being a
    student at the University of Arizona, they teach us about prejudice in the work
    place and how to avoid and overcome these situations.
    I can say that usually females do get treated differently in the work place than males, because they
    are usually not seen as the “bread winners” of their households. In
    my work experience I have not witnessed anything too bad, but I am still very
    early in my working career, and I know there will be other struggles ahead.
    (Melissa Carreno)

  • I too work for a trucking company, though I do not drive I do travel freqently for work and even in management the job opportunities are slim. As a female with a family I am limited in opportunities. What most don’t realize is that trucking is a large industry with large service areas. Terminals are not close to one another, they are literally states apart which leaves little room for growth. The only promotion opportunities available require relocation and this is not always an option with small children and long hours. Increasing daycare costs and not having a trusted friend or family member to help can make you feel defeated and stuck.

  • S. Jessop seems to be in love with a career that does not seem to respect her presence. She struggles with men accepting her for the hard worker she is and it’s very unfortunate that some members of society still believe there are things both genders can not do. If a worker is a hard worker, they should be able to fit into the job perfectly, but Jessop has to continue to prove herself to others that are simple minded. Continuing to work in a “man” industry, Jessop is making the way a little easier for women who are pursuing a similar path or going through similar struggles.

  • I find that I can relate to this story quite well. All too often women are under minded for all the hard work that they accomplish.
    I often hear snakry comments about how men do everything better, which is a complete fabricated lie. I am a strong believer that all women should be liberated and the fact that these man can degrade a hard working woman is sickening. I think that women should get more credit and I am patientally wait for the day that a woman takes over office.
    I am only a freshman in college, and I am sure I will have to experience on a whole new level in the future, but this serves as a learning lesson to move forward from what others have to say. I experience this a lot in the restaurant business, where drunk men often sit at the bar making their ridiculous about women in the bar. I often notice that the women also have to endup carrying their own conversations because the men feel too superior to include them in their politic discusions.
    I believe that all women should be treated with respect and that they should be allowed to pursue any career whether it be for a man or a woman

  • For as hard as she works, I believe that S. Jessop should be acknowledged as a strong member of the team, not as a woman that doesn’t belong. Too often do I hear of men deciding women are a lower grade than they are. Jokes now revolve around how women belong in the kitchen, or that women don’t know how to drive. This can be entirely detrimental to women on a social level, not to mention the workplace.

    In a previous job, I was told that I couldn’t hold a night manager’s position because I am a female. I was very upset that I was being held back from a promotion due to my gender and I felt it was very unfair. Much like this woman, I was being told that I didn’t belong. I could no longer work day time hours as I was going back to school, so I had to leave that job.

    Luckily, when I moved to Tucson, I was able to find work in my desired field while I go to school to earn my degree. Even better, this job has no ceilings for any gender. I am able to work with very powerful women who show me that we can do anything that men can.

  • ” Women are to be seen not heard. ” – this was said to me by my JROTC Instructor. The thing that S.

    Jessop and I have in common is that we are looked down by the men because they believe that there

    interest aren’t for women. I am involved in the junior Reserve Officer Training Course at my school and

    it is really hard to really get involved or be a leader groups within the course as a female because if

    you’re not a male they will automatically assume you don’t know what you are doing so they don’t

    really respect you or listen to you. I’ve learned that you just have to keep pushing to be heard even if

    people don’t want to listen because eventually they will listen and they’ll find out you are just as

    resourceful and smart as any male in the program.

  • This sounds so familiar except with the food and beverage industry. Women for years especially in the past were expected to stay in the kitchen and take care of the kids. I have worked in the food and beverage industry for 27 years now and with that experience one would believe I could get a higher position especialy in management. However, it is just the opposite in Las Vegas almost 92 % managers are of the male gender and they treat women as if they are not strong enough to hold that position of authority and sometimes just because you do know how to take charge they say that you are intimidating. I will not give up and now I am trying to take more classes to upgrade my Bachelors with an completetion of HM. I will not get discouraged but keep moving ahead.

  • To be honest I am not surprised. The trucking industry can
    be very tough for women. I see this very similar to females joining the military
    or armed forces. Historically these are considered to be Male jobs and biases
    towards women are not uncommon.

    My brother is a truck driver; he started out as a long
    distance driver but after three months switched to local routes only. I had the
    joy to go with him on a few tours and the individuals you deal with in that
    industry are not very pleasant or welcoming. Working long hours in
    uncomfortable environments away from family and friend can take a toll on any
    individual. Therefore, I believe that psychologically people will be more prone
    to express their biases if they are fatigued and not thinking clearly versus
    environments that present different work conditions.

    In my opinion, I believe she may experience less rejection
    being car sales man for example as this is a field primarily rules by males vs
    a truck driver simply do to the working condition.

  • To tell you the truth, when I think of a trucking industry, I think of men. It is very stereotypical but I can see why you would have trouble being a woman in this specific job. I think it is inspiring how you can overcome it, though. I am not surprised you were better at the job and I never thought people could be so mean as to actually outright say that women do not belong in a job. I do not believe you did anything wrong, though, so staying hidden rather than doing your job well would not have been the answer to this problem.

    I am very glad you enjoy what you do, that is what makes for a good job. However, I do not think you need to be so disappointed when thinking about what others think about you. Your job is very important; don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Your hours were tough, though. Don’t ever be ashamed of what you do but really good luck on your dream of being a baker. Keep your hopes up and don’t ever let anyone tell you that what you’re doing isn’t important. Being a girl myself, I know we make a difference in the world and I can’t wait until the rest of the world sees that we can do anything that men can do.

  • This is an inspiring story to anyone who has faced discrimination. I came across a problem in which I was discriminated against because of my race, and I overcame it by overachieving what others thought was impossible for me.

  • I had a job where I was in the same situation pretty much. I was working at a Wine distribution company in the warehouse. It was a mans world and I was the only woman working in it. I did have a partner who worked in the same section as I until she was fed up and quit, which left me alone for 6 months. When I was first hired on I was given the option to join the union and take a picking job or not join the union and check orders. At the time I needed a job asap and I told the boss it didn’t matter to me which I was hired for.

    Well I got hired for the non union position and started that weekend. Little did I know how horrible it was to work there. For a while I loved the job they guys were nice to me, and I kept to my self mostly. Not long after working there I found out why most of them were nice to me, they only wanted one thing, something they were not getting.

    After working there for a couple months there were people who would call off, not show up, or quit in the middle of their shift. Since I was the only extra person in the warehouse I was sent to fill in on the wall and pick orders with the union workers. All the union workers asked me if they were going to stick me in the union because apparently if you were not in the union no one was supposed to pick orders according to the union rules. After having to pick for a month straight I went to the boss and asked about joining the union because it didn’t bother me to pick. The boss had told me he would have to figure some things out and that it might be a couple of months before anything happened. I figured it was because our busy season was coming up and I would have to wait until after.

    All through out our busy season they kept hiring people to pick orders, never switching me out. Well right in the middle the one girl I worked with quit so I was stuck checking orders alone and I thought forever. After peak season passed I had asked my boss once again if I could join the union. He did nothing but beat around the bush about putting in it. He even had his assistant ask me why I wanted to join as if he was trying to talk me out of it.

    Every male there could vouch for me saying I could work circles around most of the men that worked there. When I presented this to the assistant he didn’t care. He said that the only people who want to join the union are those who want to come to work and slack off because the union would protect their job. I told him that wasn’t my case, that I wanted to join for the benefits and perks given and that I always worked the wall when they needed someone. To me it was like I was being taken advantage of. When I also mentioned that I wanted to be a route driver it was like they wanted nothing to do with me. I would have been the only female driver as well.

    Without the union backing me up because I wasn’t in it I didn’t have any job security. The company had just bought out another building and we in the process of moving. Once we moved they would switch the whole system around on how orders were picked and checked. Technically there would be no more checking and my position would have been eliminated. I knew this was coming and that was another reason I wanted to join the union, for the fear I would have been eliminated as well.

    I was a woman in a mans world and it didn’t matter how hard I worked I wasn’t going to get any where within that company.

    • This story is very intriguing and insightful. As a Women’s Studies major, I have always found myself perpetually drawn in by women competing in “a man’s world.” This interview was no different, but I enjoyed the optimistic undertone that S. Jessop has, continuing throughout all the harassment and demonstrating that hard work in this field can make a living for herself that she loves and enjoys.

      Someday, I would enjoy conducting research in numerous fields of work to help to continue to contribute acceptance to all women within work fields. I myself have been discriminated against in the workplace. Sometimes it was managers, and other times it was customers. From not being promoted to not being trusted to get the deposit to the bank because I may be “mugged” along the way, I myself have been oppressed. But, as S. Jessop did, I am not going to recede my efforts to gnaw my way into this patriarchal society and open the pathway for many more women through innovative research, community support, and pure determination.

  • I work with the
    trucking industry and I believe it is a whole new world. I recently got
    promoted to field sales and as I was getting introduced to truck company
    owners, safety managers, and drivers one of them mentioned that I would be okay
    to set up appointments but sales would be scarsed because men buy from men. You
    have success setting appoinments because you have a pretty voice – 2013 and
    gender discrimination is still present in todays society. Females still need to
    keep proving that we can do any job just like a man can. I closed a sale for
    4500 trucks four months later with one of the biggest trucking companies.

    Working for the
    same company, I was also overseen three times for promotions to a management position
    –three different men were given the position eventhough I had more experience
    over the three men. I had to train them all. –I learned that working hard and
    keeping my head up would take me where I deserved. Now I am doing the things I
    love the most being social and getting payed to do what I love. The current
    possition allows me to meet lots of great people, travel, and see the world.

    I work hard like
    many of the men doing my current job, I am proud of what I do and getting to
    know the trucking industry will open many doors for my career.

  • My dad was a truck driver for over 30 years and during my summer breaks I almost always traveled with him. I got older and started to learn how to drive and it was the only thing that I saw myself interested in doing for a while. Sometimes my father would let me drive his truck when we were in areas that had less traffic. This made me want to be a truck driver even more. The only problem was that his friends thought this was crazy to let me to do
    that because it was a job for men but I always insisted on going with him when I could. I soon began to understand that with this kind of job I would always be around people who thought like this. As more time passed, my interest in truck driving went down and I shifted towards science. I decided to pursue pharmacy but still think that there is a chance that I will run into people that think that I don’t belong. It will be my pleasure to show them that I am qualified and do belong.

  • I can relate to her story because I am also a woman in a mainly men-dominated job. As a Soldier in the Army, I put up with quite a lot. It takes a lot for women to put up with ridicule from men. Over the years, it has gotten better, but there are still certain men (infantry to be precise), that do not think that women have a role in the military.

  • I remember seeing something like this on television. I thought it was ridiculous how people have so much stereotypes. I think that as long as a woman can keep up with the work. Through the old days it has always been a woman at home with the children. Now woman are starting to work and have just as high as a title as men do. Not all people are supportive of woman being as equal as men. I think it’s great that woman are becoming independent and don’t have the feeling of needing a man. They can maintain themselves and get up on their own if they fall. I feel like I’ve seen this with my family a lot of how none of my aunts really got an education and the man is the one that works. It’s one of main motivations to go to college and get a career and be able to be an independent woman.

  • This story should be considered as inspirational not just for every woman, but for every man as well that has ever experienced discrimination in the workplace. It often seems as if even though the United States has progressed immensely in terms of women’s rights and gender equality, there is still much to be done in order to ensure that this is fully implemented. Reading this story has prepared me for the difficult task that it will be to become a lawyer in the corporate world that is dominated by men. Although it is a daunting task to establish myself in the corporate law world not as a woman but as a talented lawyer, it is one that I will face head-on for my own sake, as well as for the sake of women all over the world who are unable to follow their dreams in a world dominated by men.

  • I’ve never had a job were there was sexism, but I have seen family members deal with a situation like this. Its wrong! just plain wrong. But I’m not surprised. The truck industry is mostly male. I would be surprised if the industry WASN’T hard on a woman driver. It’s the same thing with females joining the military. On the other hand, a male nurse, for example, would be looked down on because being a nurse is seen as a female job. Society has their idea of “men” and “women” jobs, and things such as this happen when certain people mess up the “status quo”.

  • I do not understand why men seem to have such a problem with a strong women. I understand that harassment can be a hard thing to deal with on a day to day bases, but if there where people there that saw how great you did your job, that should be the only thing that matters. Men can be intimidated by women just as easy as women can be intimidated by men. If that is something that you really do not want to do for a personal reason, pursue your dream! Become who you want to be! Anything is possible.

  • I would like to say as a female driver I understand that men don’t like women in oil field, I was a Heavy Haul girl, Owner operator,, Personally I have taken a job as manager of a new Flatbed Trucking Company, Getting paid for my work is hard,, i can fix most things, and can drive just about anything,, Im thinking of moving on from this Company, Im being taken advantaged of,, So now Im looking for a job in the oil field,, I understand the lonely, my husband left me, and I have have all the bills to pay myself, after 14 years on the road, I feel I have a real good head on my shoulder for Trucking,, Thank you for your article,

    • Discrimination is alive & well In the oilfields. As a female truck driver fo over 20 years I have not experienced this degree of gender discrimination. I’ve been in Texas for 2 1/2 years. Thankfully there are a few companies that look at your experience not your sex.

  • It is an unfortunate situation. As a female aspiring to become an Architect I have been told time and time again that the field I am pursuing is a mans field and that the competition is very high. There for I have to bring in more to the table. As a challenge I like it, but I fear once I am out there trying to get a job, I will be very disappointed.

  • This story is very inspirational to me. Being that I have in what some might say “the worst of both worlds” I can completely understand why Ms. Jessop feels the way she does. I am an African american, and a woman, therefore I get completely judged by my appearance first and for most, and because I’m a woman it just keeps racking up points on the viewer’s score card. If I can take anything from Ms.Jessop’s interview it would be to never give up. I would need a lot of fingers to count how often I had to prove myself whether it be at work or at school. I can’t give up because someone lets their own prejudice thoughts get in the way of meeting who I really am.

  • I am on track for a career in curating that is and has been predominately ruled by men since the beginning of time. Only now this is starting to change and become more possible for women to be recognized as successful and even equal within this field.

    As an ambitious college student who aspires to be a curator, this story is truly inspiring because it shows the powerful influence that women are having in all work fields across the country and the world.

  • Everywhere I turn nowadays women are getting harassed and outed just for being a woman. For me, I make music, I produce music for people. Before I started selling my stuff I was very weary of letting anyone know my true gender on the internet because I know their whole perspective would change when they realized that a woman was making all this weird and eclectic music and not a man.

    I gained a lot of followers through forums and weekly beat battles and still to this day they really don’t know who I am. They comment “good job man” or “dude this is awesome”. It doesn’t bother me that this happens, but for me going into this entertainment industry as a producer and as a filmmaker I know that I will have to show my face, when I show my work. And I know of the prejudice and discrimination that lye’s before me.

    Its hartbreaking that this woman who loved her job, who was good at her job and even better than her male counterparts had to face such harsh discrimination, simply because it’s a “man’s job”. Well I am one who is going to change these injustices not just in the entertainment industry but in all instances. Because it’s not fair what women have to go through constantly when we are the seed of the world. It will no longer be a mans world when I’m done with it. Equality is the only way to make this place better.

  • While
    reading S. Jessop interview, I felt so bad about what happened
    to her; she went thru so many troubles and all because of men. Stereotypes that
    we have around jobs industries are outdated. I think it is very unfair, to
    think that men can do whatever they want; and female are only good for certain
    type of jobs. Like it was in before in 16 century, when women were staying home
    and taking care of their kids. Being a truck
    driver by itself very difficult job, but being a woman in a truck driver
    position makes it more complicated because we are different from men. We need
    love and family and friends around us. That is why I think that attitude that S.
    Jessop received while she was driving is so wrong.

    If we look around us, we will see that these types of
    misconception about female are everywhere. Just think for a moment, how many
    jokes are out there in the world about female driver (passenger car), or how people
    treat a women that trying to go in politics in our country? Mrs. Clinton tried to
    run for president and what happened? Nobody listen to her, media made jokes
    about her appearances and said nothing about what she was trying to do for all people
    in the nation.

    Moving on, I can say that it
    is very easy to misjudge and harass female but it takes a lot of courage and strength
    to admit that women can perform different type of job and maybe being better than
    some of the men.

  • This is such an inspiring story. It’s really wonderful to hear someone so passionate about a job that, though is stressful and unfair in gender equality, they believe in and love. It is astonishing that there is still so much inequality between men and women in the job force. It really does speak to our country as a whole. I am very passionate about women’s roles in society and have taken many history and visual critical studies classes on the subject. I have analyzed many forms of media through projects in which the objectification of women is obvious and preposterous. Even today there are many issues with gender equality, social expectations of women, and the public’s knowledge of these existing situations.

    I believe that my interest in this also stems from the fact that I am studying architecture, which is also a male dominated field. About 75% of the students in my major are male, and the industry’s numbers are even more appalling. There are so many stories and situations in which skilled, professional women are objectified by men, and exploited with lower pay. I hope to have the same courage as Jessop to continue loving my job through thick and thin. I do love architecture and feel grateful and inspired every day that I get to wake up and practice what I enjoy, but the road ahead seems bumpy due to the same problems with inequality that Jessop has gone through. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • I work at a restaurant. I can not tell you how many times a man has sexually harassed me. The issue of sexism always gets discarded. People don’t realize what we women go through. The word “Feminism” has such a negative connotation now, that if you use it people look at you as if you just admitted a felony.

    My experience as a woman is interesting because all of my friends are male. I tend to be the butt of all the jokes, and often disagree in the group. I do not believe my friends do this on purpose but i feel as though they forget I am just as important as them. Let me share an example that has happened to me more than once. If I find myself at a show with two or three of my male friends, they will often talk over me. I am not a particularly assertive person and so I let this happen till I have something of great importance to share. After the show they like to go and talk to the bands. Typically the band is all male as well. No matter what size the group (and this has happened with just me and one other guy before) I will always be the one who is skipped when introducing one another. Often “the guys” will talk and I will stand there, invisible, and no one will even ask me my name. They do not even think twice about this. I do not blame them, they are raised to think that women are not as important as men. Of course not consciously, but on a subconscious level, they are taught to ignore women unless they are “useful” in someway.

    Time, and time, again I see that women are often ignored, under-appreciated, or disregarded as anything worth talking to. Often the only time I will have an opportunity to talk to someone at one of these said shows, is if a guy is trying to flirt with me. Men do not realize this type of behavior and they need to understand the toll it has on a person’s self esteem.

  • This story is both intriguing and insightful. As a Women’s Studies major, I have always found myself perpetually drawn in by women competing in “a man’s world.” This interview was no different, but I enjoyed the optimistic undertone that S. Jessop has, continuing throughout all the harassment and demonstrating that hard work in this field can make a living for herself that she loves and enjoys.

    Someday, I would enjoy conducting research in numerous fields of work to help to continue to contribute acceptance to all women within work fields. I myself have been discriminated against in the workplace. Sometimes it was managers, and other times it was customers. From not being promoted to not being trusted to get the deposit to the bank because I may be “mugged” along the way, I myself have been oppressed. But, as S. Jessop did, I am not going to recede my efforts to gnaw my way into this patriarchal society and open the pathway for many more women through innovative research, community support, and pure determination.

  • This was very inspiring, I can relate to this story quite a bit. My mother has been a truck driver for as long as I can remember. She has always had a hard time being treated equally by the men she works with. It is sad that so many cannot see each other as equal simply because if their gender. Or that Some view things as only a “man’s job.”

    I asked her once how she could work in such conditions, being doubted and challenged on every step she took. She told me its because she is doing what she loves, and that it shouldn’t matter what others think. I am studying the arts and I have received my fair share of doubt along the way. But I will continue to pursue my dreams and study what I love.

  • First of all, kudos for being honest. Many people are prone to want a fairy tale story where you blow all the mens’ minds with your fantastic abilities, their eyes are opened, and you dramatically destroy the glass ceiling.
    Though not on your intense scale, I have most definitely been in situations where I am surrounded by testosterone and sexism. In the world of politics, I world I live in, it is difficult to be taken seriously as a triple threat minority because American politics are dominated by straight, cis, white, upper class men. It’s very easy to be quickly shut up by louder voices, and at times I’ve felt like I needed to scream to be heard.

    Had my world been as small, and therefore restrictive as your’s, I probably would’ve moved on to bigger and better things too.
    Congrats on everything you’re doing now!

  • I came from Odessa Ukraine, and right now more then ever when my country is starting a war with its government it makes me realize how no matter what we are all up again a war of our own. My father is also a truck driver and coming from Ukraine with two kids and a wife he worked day and night to the extent that he got cancer. Luckily the cancer was in the beginning stages and they could cure him. Diversity is a huge part of my life just like in this female truck drivers life, i went along on my fathers truck driving trips and you can hear how foul the language is when truck drivers start talking. Starting from my name “Dmitriy” to my last name “Zhekov” I from a personal perspective have witnessed what it feels like to be the only Ukrainian child in the room of the whole school. People will look at you different if they sense that you are our of place, but hopefully we can all over look that and get to know one another better and learning the world around us.

  • This story makes me sad. I am currently a first year student in mechanical engineering and I’m running into problems like what was said above. In my design classes there are only about 10% who are girls and in my thermodynamics class this semester even less. At times I like being in a male dominated field because I am able to set the bar and be noticed. Other times being the only female is challenging. Like Jessop, I am not taken seriously by my male professors or male design teams at times. It is one of the most unsatisfying and frustrating things to go through. It is inspiring to read a story like hers because I know it is going to happen, I know soon I will be in her situation. I also know that if we work together we will be able to get through it and it is possible to be a female in a male dominated job field.

  • In relation to this woman, I, too, was forced to overcome the stereotypes of society that believes women are physically inferior and less likely to succeed in sports. I remember the first time rubbing my hand against the leather skin of a basketball at the age of five. Sitting in our driveway, I gazed upon my older, athletic male cousins whom dripped with sweat and breathed heavily as they attempted to dominate the court as “king.” “Can I play?” I asked politely, but in response, they scolded, “No! Girls cannot play!” I ran into the house; tears rushed from my eyes as the words “Girls cannot play!” continuously repeated through my head. At that moment, I told myself, “I will show them!” The next day, I asked my grandmother to come outside and watch me dribble the basketball for the first time. Although unsuccessful, I persevered to prove my cousins wrong. Years had passed consisting of challenging practices and workouts, numerous sacrifices, and late nights finishing my homework, but through it all, I developed life-long characteristics: hard work, perseverance, leadership, and responsibility. Fast forward nine years and the basketball season of my freshman year of high school came around. My never-ending hard work was paying off because I had made the varsity team, but I remained steadfast turning the quote, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option,” (Anonymous) into my life motto. After a successful fifteen years in the sport, I had accomplished more than I had ever dreamed. From numerous awards to having the ability to play Division 1 women’s basketball, I felt blessed to have reached my goal. However, no matter how many awards, trophies, or medals I received, in the end, I valued one element the most: the ability to realize how much stronger I can become. Although the struggle between sexes may continue today, I understand the importance of never
    giving up on something, no matter what others may think or say.

  • As a woman, I am constantly having to prove to those around me that I am capable of doing things just as well as the men. I live in a very small country town. Because of this, there are many “cowboys” and men who work long hours on farms or other outside jobs.

    A couple of years ago, in the middle of summer, I was helping to demo and them remodel the inside of an old house. Because I am a woman, and a young woman (I am 21 now, 17 at the time this happened) at that, it was just a general belief that I would hinder the project more than help. However, I was the first one there every morning and the last one to leave every night. The house has old newspaper insulation that was generally a huge mess. I went home covered from head to toe in dirt every single night. A few weeks into the job, the men finally realized that I have what it takes to do such grueling physical work and I was then accepted as a part of the team.

    This type of situation is very wrong, however it is also very common. It is my hope that women all over the world push their selves to their limits and prove to society that they are just as good as any other person.

  • As a female going into an engineering field, I have faced some sexist things simply through my professors at school. I had a chemistry professor who seemed determined to make me fail or drop the class like the other females did.

    Although the class was terrible, and my professor made the class harder on me then any other male there, I still passed the class and learned a lot because of all the time I had to put into it. Because of that professor, I worked harder then ever to prove I belonged in that class room, and I applaud your determination to work harder, even when most people there want you to quit!

  • I find it saddening and frustrating to see that women are still not being treated equally with men. There will always be a risk of discrimination and sexism when women enter “manly” jobs such as this job or engineering, construction, army, and other hands on jobs. I have experienced a slight episode of discrimination through my college peers. I am currently a chemistry major in college and many of my peers majoring and pursuing a career in pharmacy think that because they are men, they are capable of handling the pressure better. I disagree and feel that women are still underestimated and we can do anything if we tried, just like men. I feel that women have done enough in history and today (female politicians are a great example) to gain respect and equality.

  • I have never experienced any kind of discrimination because of my gender, but I have faced discrimination because of my sexuality and I know very well how disheartening it can be. I grew up in a small town where the large majority belonged to a religion that did not support homosexuality whatsoever. As an openly gay high school student at the time, I received constant torment from my peers and at one point fell to the bullying. It wasn’t until years later when I was in my junior year of high school that I could not let these people take advantage of me, and I wanted to prove them wrong. So that’s exactly what I did. I ended up raising my grades, which was very difficult, and being admitted to the university of my dreams, Webster, pursuing my BA in photography.

  • I started working in the hotel business when I turned 18 and I was the youngest employee there. Every employee would ask in shock “How old are you young man? you look so young!” I would laugh and tell them my age but after a few months of being employed there I was having some problems with discrimination. One day I over heard the supervisors talking about me in the office. saying things from “hes to young to be working here. this job is not for kids.” Also the chief of the hotel restaurant would call me princess and make jokes about my sexuality. It was a horrible vibe every time I would go in to work and I hated it. Descrimination is not a pretty feeling and I don’t think anyone should have to put up with it.

  • I can somewhat relate to this. I don’t work in the trucking industry and I am not a female. I do however, have work issues of my own. As a gay man who works for a catholic healthcare company I am faced with discrimination by individuals in the company who are religious. I am constantly reminded that my “lifestyle” is unacceptable to my organization and the religious community. This is often displayed in the cross over every door and in every office, a reminder that as Christians my sexuality is unacceptable.

    I also further see discrimination by those who tell me not to identify myself as a gay man and keep it a secret in fear that I could be fired for being gay, or at least be treated differently with a chance to not get promoted. I am an open person and to not be able to freely express myself, or just even talk about being with my partner going on a weekend trip when talking to colleagues.

    I can’t say that they don’t pay me fairly like the straight colleagues, but I really can’t say that either, since I don’t know what their salary is. I just know that I can’t be open about who I am, and that I am constantly reminded on how the Christian world views me every single day.

  • Having worked in the oil industry as an intern, I COMPLETELY understand how sexist they can be. “Just because you’re a female you’re not as ‘good’ as the rest of us,” they say. Or my favorite “you’re ‘only’ a female.” People couldn’t believe that I was also working with the engineers, includnig some of the engineers. My thing is, if you can do your job and do it well what difference does it make? Prejudice just hinders innovation and growth.

  • I understand how it is to be discriminated against for working/studying in a “man’s” field. In middle school, I was always bullied, but I was never bullied worse outside of my applied tech class. The work was exhausting, but I worked harder than anyone else in the class and always got the best grades, but the guys in the class were not very fond of me. I never said a word against them, and was always kind, but being one of two girls in the class, I was endlessly taunted. The guys even smashed the ring I had been working on for months and somehow snuck a a hammer in the pocket of my hoodie once. What I don’t understand is why no one ever said anything to my face about it but had no problem saying things about me when they thought I couldn’t here or wouldn’t realize they were referring to me. Aside from that, I am also always frustrated with people because no one takes me seriously. I have worked so hard all my life and have always had the most knowledge and best grades, but to no avail. My grandma is probably the worst offender: she is the traditional Arabic woman that thinks I should have no opinion or control over my life because I’m a 19 year old girl. As frustrating as it is, at least I have figured out the reason. I’ll never understand why the rest of my family and friends never take me seriously when I have been such a serious person since 4 years old…

  • My experience as a woman in a man’s world isn’t entirely relatedable to this article, but I find her career admirable and worth much discussion as to the hardships a perfectly capable woman faces. With my story, I wasn’t in a situation that I could just walk away and change environments without giving up what I saw as an opportunity to earn money for my education.

    Being in a bureaucratic and voluntary government program with scholarship money, I was inclined to just keep battling my male teammates believing it would make me weak to just walk away. I had the option to complain and there was enough to even make legal accusations when I think of it now, but I was honestly too afraid and distrusting that I could do that without absolute evidence. I made an awful mistake of letting the behaviors towards me as a woman progress and it took its toll on me. These behaviors included sexual harassment, among other events. Either way I finally decided to trust my superiors, and ultimately it did me wrong. It’s interesting what I was able to compromise, and that by the time I seeked help I found myself being blamed for it by a program who didn’t want to be marred with the statistics of mistreated women. Injustice is a hard pill to swallow.

    There is nothing I would love more than to have more men and women discuss the issues women and men face in career and bureauracracy settings.

  • I have always been a passionate advocate for equality of all kind and a story like this inspires me to keep going. I have struggled to find my place in a lot of ways because I am woman. I’ve been turned down from so many opportunities because they “weren’t right for someone like me.” Unfortunately for anyone who says that, it only makes me work harder. I am now the only female at my workplace and the only LGBTQ member as well. I’ve learned that I can be just as tough and successful as anyone else, and that is something I will always take with me.

  • I can so relate to this story because I too was working as a bus operator in a predominantly man workplace. I was harassed by not just employees but by the bus riders themselves and because of all the bullying I hated my job, I was really affected by such cruel remarks and I left the job because of that and I really enjoyed doing what I did.

  • I find it refreshing to see an article about someone that works in a job that isn’t pulling a lot of money. I’ve only ever had a job in fast food or building maintenance and it can be rather disheartening to know that my coworkers are too ashamed to put their place of employment on Facebook or to disclose that information to people that don’t know them very well. I believe that there is pride in every job that a person does well, and that a cozy white collar job is not any better than a blue collar one.

    I don’t fret about telling people that I’ve worked for years in fast food. I’m proud of the fact that Jessop is also completely at ease talking about her time working for oil rigs. She explains things well in saying that she “do[es] a great service for Americans”. All sorts of work is important and makes sure that the culture we, as Americans, value highly continues to move in the way that it’s supposed to.

    Jessop has a lot of strength to A) admit to her, what most would say, “less than glamorous job” and B) to have the chutzpah to go forward doing what she likes to do when met with adversity and discrimination.

  • I currently drive Salt Water truck in the Bakken of ND. I’ve never been treated bad by anyone on a Rig. I always get told how impressive it is because it is hard work, especially in the winter. I’m no spring chicken. Haha I’ve seen only two other women out here doing the same and they have told me they don’t think they’ll make it. I love doing this, the pay isn’t the greatest and the hours are long. The worst of is is how the Government and the towns out here RAPE people on living. The housing and food is outrageous.

  • I’m a heavy equipment operator and truck driver in oil field Gibson oilfield services, McClatchy bros,sooner pipe, el farmer ,lpz, 2 d oilfield service ,Dannys asphalt ,hilla msg construction and many others have not payed me discriminated against me and the moment u have something to say about the way a man is treating u at work u will b fired . I haul pipe and run belly dump for an owner operator and have a friend who’s a truck pusher and sales guy is the only reason I have a job right now everytme I get knocked down these two men pick me up there’s never enough work with owner op to keep me for verry long I would like a job with benefits and more hours and better pay don’t like tankers love dirt construction equipment and belly dumps have 19 years experience I am currently with owner op just been knocked down again still realing from it hoping to find a direction soon and run towards it I have changed my personality a lot since I been here 3 years very humble just wanted to let you know I feal your pain oh midland Texas oil field hauling pipe today

  • The fact that a woman may hold this position definitely displays that our country has progressed to a more inclusive workforce. However, despite the fact that job availability for women has changed the attitudes with male dominated fields has not. Statistics continue to show the differentiation in position, pay, and employee satisfaction with female workers gaining the least amount of benefits for their contributions. It is all too often shown that women need to work twice as hard for half the pay and still have a positive attitude about it.
    Reading Ms. Jessop’s story was a bit of a reflection for me. It has allowed me the opportunity to look back on my own experiences. It is inspiring to read about someone who shares my struggles and contributes a positive outlook to share with the world. What I find most unique about this story is the complete honesty that is shared by Ms. Jessop and her willingness to provide such private information about her story.

  • It’s amazing women everywhere, no matter how many accomplishments or what era we’re in, still live in “a man’s world.” I remember my own father making me a victim of this when I was young. He asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I asked him what he did. He explained to me that he works for a company that builds motor parts for the army and whatnot. This sounded great to me. If I did what my father did I could build things with my hands all day while mildly serving my country. I told him I wanted to do what he does when I grow up! …my father laughed at me. He looked through my little eyes, straight into my soul and said “That’s a boy’s job.”

    Now, my question is, what defines a boy’s job? Does it take brain power? Strength? A college education?

    It’s makes me sick that people these days, of any race, gender, sexual preference, etc., are still being discriminated against.

  • I worked at a boy scout camp as a teenager. During that time, I was sexually harassed by campers and coworkers alike. One time, three boys from a unit wolf whistled at my cabin mate and me on our way back from a shower house with a locked door, which we used because campers would sit outside the women’s side of the shower house, wait for a woman to walk inside, and then walk back and forth down the aisle to see if they could catch a glimpse at a naked female body. During the week, these same boys would knock on the door to the locked shower house and call us whores if we didn’t answer it. When I told someone and the leader was contacted, I was given a dirty look, like it was my fault they did this, and was never apologized to.

    Additionally, my qualifications to teach on the rifle range was called into question. One camper actually had the audacity to come up to me and suggest that I only got the job because I was a woman. It’s one of several reasons that caused me to leave the boy scouts.

    Heather Taylor

  • It is evident that women’s rights have progressed in America over the years, however, there is still this idea of a “man’s world”. This story inspires me and touches on the power of being a woman. I believe that a certain gender should not depict what career any individual decides.

    During high school I was interested in robotics and my dad had made the comment, “usually guys are into robotics and fixing things why won’t you go out for the cheer team.” His comment didn’t bother me because he wanted me to try new things, it was because he was, in a way, downgrading what women are capable of doing. I believe that women are more than capable of working in the field, as truck drivers, and engineers. Women have the power to multitask beyond measures, taking of their family, working, volunteering in church and can make a full days work appear to be simple. I watched my mother, a single-mom, work all day and night; from taking care of me and my sister, working, and occasionally volunteering.

    My dream is that when a man sees a woman who’s a truck driver they give her the same respect as any other male colleague. One could say that I am feminist, and in a way I am. I believe in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, and I also believe in the equality for all man kind. This story has inspired me to take on new challenges, and make me believe that I too can be a strong woman.

  • I can relate to this story because I am also a woman who has been in a similar situation. I used to be a volunteer firefighter but i worked harder than most of the male applicants to get the accepted . I was not taken seriously at first and had to prove myself (something that other male applicants did not have to do) before i was accepted. Even after proving myself and getting accepted, I still had to work extra hard to show that I am not a “girly girl” as they would often call me. Being a woman and working in a male dominated field is very difficult and i believe that women have to take a stand so that the world can understand that we are just as capable as our male counterparts. PS. I also love to bake and would love to go to a pastry school too.

  • I work on tug boats in south Texas and find that it is often impossible to not be seen as an object in the workplace rather than a valuable member of the team. I am inspired by your story due to the fact that each day is a new day to prove to those around you that not only are you an important part of the working community but that you are invaluable to the team. It is my dream that more women will break into these roles and pave a path for a new generation of females to come in the future.

  • Having a father who used to be a truck driver as well, I saw the many stereotypical slurs, comments, and opinions about how females are not meant in this particular type of work. If woman are seen as “unsuitable” for many professional and business careers, and then “incapable” for fields such as truck driving, what are we then left with? Nothing? I once made a comment to father as wanting to be just like him. I wanted to be a truck driver, lift heavy things, and go on daily road trips. And do you know what he said to me? “This isn’t a job that females belong to.” As a kid I wasn’t aware of what he was telling me. However, now that I have grown up to see the many injustices that females face in every job field, I now know how rude, masculine, and naive thing that was to say. Hence, it is one of the reasons of why I advocate for ALL students to be able to chase whatever career they desire the most. Even if they “don’t belong.”

  • I found this story interesting because it showed me that even if you are working in a field where it is not the “norm” for you to be there, you should still follow your heart and go for what you want. Sometimes even though you may have to put up with things that you shouldn’t have to, I believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I know that it has happened to me before by being a woman and an African American, I know that sometimes I get looked at differently, but I know that I can be proud because I earned my way there.

  • Personally I have also had issues as a woman doing “man work.” I worked on a plumbing crew for five years and while my boss never had any issues letting carry heavy things or chop up cement floors, some of my coworkers did. They would say things like “why does the boss have to doing that, you’re a girl. You should be rolling up the hoses or something easier.” At first I took those kinds of comments as a challenge, but after a while I started to get angry. Fortunately, I never let our customers see my anger, but there were a few times when I told my coworkers to stop being sexist.

  • These stories always frustrate me. Women can be tough and strong. We don’t need to be “put in our place” because thats what society tells us to do. I have been swimming all my life and because of that I have very broad shoulders and I can gain muscle quickly. I hate seeing societies “perfect” imagine of a woman being small and slender. Why do we put a standard on women but not on men? There are some societies that have women being worshipped. If you think about it we do all the work. We have the kids and raise them. Surprisingly this is not just mens fault but our fault as well. We can make a difference starting with teaching kids the better way and to not put down anyone. We can stand up for ourselves. I am in a non-profit organization that brings awareness to childhood sexual abuse through dance, spoken words, and music. Even though this is a specific area, we cover all types of abuse and perform for many community events such as take back the night. Everyone needs to make a change if we, women, want things to change.

  • I am a 5 foot Hispanic senior. With anything I do I am always told I can not do it, that I am too small. Everyday I have to prove myself to everyone that I can do it that being small is just an obstacle I can overcome. My mom has taught me ever since I was little that I can do anything. In my house I am a handy woman who regularly helps with all the cleaning and fixing stuff around the house. This included lifting boxes that weighed 100 pounds and when I helped my mom I had no problem I could lifted them get them where they were needed and continue helping. Most of these boxes contained computer parts of all kinds.

    When I started my first job it was at a fast food restaurant. When we would get supplies from the kitchen I was not allowed to help unload the truck because of my height. The manager or an employee who was always a male would help and I would be told to stay up front to watch for costumers and to take orders and let them know if i needed help.

    This became frustrating because even when i would go to grab something from the back a male employee would see me and would think I was struggling. He would come back and grab whatever I was grabbing and tell me where do i need it. Very soon I started to become dependent on this. Now at work if something is heavy I automatically grab a co worker and asked them to grab it for me.

  • I always consider women like this to be heroes. While it’s easy to assume that trucking, construction, and labor related jobs are male dominated, people don’t realize how much of the industry in general is also male dominated and controlled. I’m going into the arts industry. Growing up, being an artist or a creative person was considered feminine ( not saying I agree, but it’s there). Nevertheless, I came across the country to study animation in California, only to realize the same thing was happening in the art world. The most influential artists from history are all male. Every speaker we’ve had this year about animation has also been male. The instructors with the most successful past? Male. It worries me, that I’m going to get into the industry where theoretically everyone should be on the same plane, especially if they have the same talent, yet I’m still going to get over looked, underpaid, or be taken advantage of, simply because I identify as a female.

  • It’s a terrible shame when someone cannot continue to pursue their passion because of the stereotypical notions held by others. At times I like to imagine that people nowadays are past these old-fashioned ideas about women as weak and unable to do what was once considered “men’s work”, but unfortunately such beliefs seem to persist. It frustrates and saddens me that gender biases can still restrict women’s lives and choices today.

    As a woman with an strong sense of adventure, I fully believe I am capable of anything a man is capable of if I choose to pursue it. I often dream of adventurous endeavors, like going sailing on an old-fashioned ship in the ocean or thruhiking the Appalachian Trail. It would be upsetting indeed if in the course of pursuing these dreams I was cut off from the possibility of making any friends simply because I am a woman and the men thought I ought not do such things.

    And to think that some people still consider women bad luck on ships! I sometimes enjoy watching the show “Deadliest Catch”, a show about crab fishing in the Bering Sea (around Alaska), but the one thing that saddens me about that show is the almost complete lack of women. In the episodes I have seen (to be fair, I have not seen more than a few seasons) a woman appeared on a ship only once, when one of the men brought his girlfriend aboard as a cook, and she did not remain in the show for long. It seems as if men feel their manly “bond of brotherhood” is threatened by the presence of a woman, perhaps, and it has long been a superstition of some sailors that women are bad luck on a ship. Thus, when watching “Deadliest Catch”, I sometimes imagine myself working on one of those boats, perhaps just to show them, and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction in the wake of any women actually being present. In reality, I don’t think it is the sort of job I would honestly want, but at the same time, any woman who truly wants to work on such a crab fishing boat should certainly be allowed to without fear of having her presence disapproved of by the men around her.

    As I am going through college now, it is unlikely I will end up with a career of this sort, but that does not mean that I will never face men (or even other women) who believe that what I want to do is not appropriate for me because of my gender. Sometimes I think I would like to be an archaeologist, and that does seem to be a stereotypically male field, particularly in its portrayal in movies. Even beyond my future career choice, in the area of *life* choices, I may face question because of my gender. I cannot say I’m certain whether I ever want to get married and have children; if I were a man, I would almost surely not be questioned about this, but as a woman, it is a choice that is likely to be questioned. One Mother’s Day, my young male cousin wished me a happy Mother’s Day as well as my mother, saying that it was because I would be a mother some day–not might, but would. He was well-meaning, but his words revealed an uncomfortable cultural assumption that still exists. There are plenty of life assumptions made about women that are not made about men.

    Like Ms. Jessop, I want to be free to live the adventurous life I choose without being criticized on all sides for being “unwomanly”. I want to be able to have friends in the career I choose, not to be torn down so harshly that I feel the need to change careers. I want to have adventures; likewise, I want to see women like me in adventurous television shows like “Deadliest Catch”. Television has power in shaping our culture, and it would be nice if those in control of it used it to help bring acceptance to all groups rather than to reinforce exclusive male factions. I want to be able to decide how I will live my life, what job I will pursue, and whether I get married and have children. Truly, I hope that people’s perceptions of women will continue to improve so that they can see we are equally capable of working at historically male pursuits, and that we can live our lives as we choose without needing to be criticized.

  • I find it amazing that she is able to do a job that is that extremely demanding. My mother had to work three different jobs, go to school, and raise three kids at the same time for almost six years so I can respect anyone that us able to handle this kind of stress. It is frustrating to hear that despite the fact that she is a good worker that sexism still exists among her coworker. I have experienced this treatment before as well, albeit not in the same career field. Whlie working at a grocery store, it was always frustrating to be told that there was no way I could understand something. I sometimes even had to have a male coworker with me for small tasks such as assisting a customer or finding an item. It always felt very demeaning to me that I could not be trusted with the simplest of tasks without a male coworker present despite how incompetent that coworker could be themselves.

  • This story definitely hits close to home. I absolutely can relate to always feelings like you have to prove yourself to someone especially in this case, a man. I feel that no man will ever feel a woman will be able to do the things they are able to do because of being a female. I work at a fitness center and all the men feel that women don’t work as hard as they do to get their body right, so me being a female the males feel that I don’t work as hard as they do. I say that to say this, we as females won’t ever get the credit of being equal to a man. Men feel as if they have the upper hand in everything just because they’re a man. I beg to differ.

  • When I was in high school I really wanted to learn some of the “guy stuff” in the shop area like automotive, wood working, etc. It was not popular for a female to take those classes, which made me more determined to take them. The exploratory classes we took proved to me that I could liked and could learn more in those areas.

    After being in a small engines class for a term I couldn’t take it. The teacher and some of the guys in the class were nice, but I ended up feeling dumb and not good enough. I tried my best, but didn’t seem to match some of the knowledge that everyone else already had. The deciding factor was when student stole the cover for my engine and sand blasted it so nobody could tell it was mine. Thankfully I can written down a serial number on the inside and the teacher discovered the theft. I felt that I couldn’t continue in that area and be happy with it, especially after that incident.

    Woodworking was a lot like that experience. I loved choosing a project, wood, and the creative process. Even the smell of the sawdust and sanding was amazing for me. One part of the woodworking area was construction and something I was so excited to learn about. During the lectures in the beginning of the term I took notes and listened intently. We handed in our notes at the end of the lecture section of the class and the next day the teacher told everyone they should be thankful he graded mine last, otherwise everyone would have gotten an “F”. I was so proud of myself that I had done such a great job in the book and notes area and couldn’t wait until our building project.

    The teacher and other students in my class were tolerant of me most of the time, but the building project was a struggle. Nobody would let me do anything! Our instructor wasn’t one to baby anyone or listen to excuses and told me to just get in there. It was hard when the guys mumbled about me being a girl and shutting me out of their group. I tried to do my best to find other ways to help by cutting shingles or cleaning the area. It really hurt my feelings and, needless to say, I didn’t take Construction II.

  • What really struck a cord with me in Jessop’s answer was her desire to be taken seriously. Whether it be in school, at work, or in social situations, my statements and ideas fall upon deaf ears unless they are backed up by someone older, lighter, and male. Jessop faced very overt prejudice despite excelling at her job, which is something members of any minority group can relate to.

    When I worked as a student instructor with a group of 5 young men and 2 women, I found that there was no leeway for us women. When teaching our students about American history, we simply could not mess up lest the group lose respect for us and check out for the rest of the lecture. Everything tied back to our gender, and any mistake would be extra evidence for our incompetence. We were made to feel as though we did not belong, despite scoring much better than our male counterparts as well as being more prepared and focused. Before meeting up with our students, the young men often asked us what chapter we were to teach and “borrowed” our talking points, quizzes, and review questions. They also made many factual errors, but the students rated them as more knowledgeable, prepared, and “right for the job.”

    We are conditioned to believe people have inherent characteristics, so even when those stereotypes are being defied right in front of our eyes, the prejudice lingers. I want to be a lawyer because the type of prejudice Jessop and millions of other individuals face is about more than just hurt feelings, important as that is. Jessop was harassed and pushed out of her job. Other people are never given those opportunities to begin with. We have to create environments in and out of the workplace where people are given equal opportunities and feel safe. This is about more than a few bullies trying to keep a woman out. This is about the patriarchal ideals that are taught to us as children and protected by a lack of legislation, ignorance, and apathy.

  • It is fascinating finding someone to look up to. Growing up in the Middle East where most job fields are male-dominated, I had to fight my way through to prove myself to everyone, and if I couldn’t prove myself there was no way I could become successful at life or do what I want to do.

  • I work for my father’s company as a contractor operating heavy equipment out of state. I started to operate a sixty-five ton, rigid frame haul truck when I was still in high school during summer breaks. None of the rock quarries I worked at had ever employed women to drive haul trucks or operate any sort of machinery. My father trained me to also operate excavators during this time. He never treated me as inadequate. There were some men along the way that acted as if I was the boss’s daughter and that I didn’t know what I was really doing.
    Once the men got to know me, almost everybody was friendly. I believe that I did have to prove myself. I made sure to stay humble and kind to everyone and just let my work speak for itself. Some men were snarky and rude, but I think that is just their personalities. I don’t necessarily take it personally. I just keep doing my job and stay true to myself. I can sympathize with women going into a male dominated field of work and I hope that they have the ability to keep going and to make a difference. #staypositive #womenmatter #makeadifference

  • I also work in a male dominated industry, though my company itself is very diverse my customers sometimes struggle to respect me. My first management job (at the age of 25) I learned very quickly that my customers were concerned both with my gender and age. I started a habit of introducing myself by phone before introducing myself in person so they would get to know me before seeing how young I was. As for my gender, not easy to hide, so I simply needed to keep working for the respect I wanted.
    With time I built a name for myself with my company and customers, and am highly respected for my experience. It is amazing to be able to overcome some of these challenges, and I have always appreciated the leaders in my company who made that possible.
    Much like you I want to open my own business some day. I want to continue working in my industry for many years still, but plan to do an early retirement to start an Alpaca farm. It is encouraging to know I am not the only professional with multiple passions to pursue.

  • I am particularly inspired by Jessop’s sense of tenacity and dignity, even in the face of blatant sexism on the oil field. Her confidence is grounded in her passion and pride in her work, which I personally believe to be one of the most important qualities for any individual to aspire towards.

    As an Asian-American female, there have been many times when I have been pigeonholed to assume certain qualities — submissive, dutiful, even talented at certain academic subjects over others. Although these stereotypes are never easy to battle, I do my best every day to develop my sense of self from within, rather than from what others expect of me. For example, in two of my current advanced Mathematics classes, I take the initiative to speak up and solve problems in front of a class that is around 75% male — proving to others, but more importantly, to myself, that I am capable of the same type of thinking and analysis that exists in male-dominated industries.

    I draw inspiration from women such as Jassop, who has clearly chosen her path on no one else’s directive except her own; I hope that one day, I too will be able to share this inspiration with other women.

  • As a Hispanic female I really sympathized with Jessop’s story. It is a pity we live in a white male dominated world. Even white females have to deal with discrimination just because they are of the opposite gender. Because of my background I was inspired to pursue a degree in the medical field.

    There is a majority of while male doctors and physicians and women hold fewer higher positions. I learned that there is only about two percent of Hispanic people working in the Health Sciences and that is something that infuriates and shocks me.

    I plan to keep fighting these injustices and make bold choices so there can be more opportunities for women and we can continue to break barriers.

  • I also worked in oil rigs for some time. After I graduated from college in Chemical Engineering I was hired by one of the biggest oil companies in the world as a trainee. I remember during the interviews they tried to scare me about how hard and difficult the job was. They said it was already hard enough and dangerous for men, and for women it was going to be much worse. Despite all the stories they told me, I didn’t get scared and continued doing the interviews. I passed all their tests and finally they hired me.

    First they trained me in all the different areas they had in the facility where I was assigned. A very small town in southern Mexico, where the heat and the humidity was like I had never felt before. The work in this areas was mostly physical, I had to carry things, operate heavy machines under the sun without much help. But that didn’t stop me, I am used to work hard, in every sense, to achieve my goals.

    Once I knew all the work that was done in the facility my first trips to oil rigs started. They were usually deep in the jungle, and I often found myself in the middle of nowhere surrounded by men who wouldn’t recognize my abilities or intelligence to perform tasks like these. Nevertheless, I din’t pay attention to that and tried to learn as much as I could. I kept asking questions and trying to understand even if they didn’t want to answer.

    I believe they put you in the hardest situations before they train you formally, like a test. Thanks to my character and determination I passed this test and my formal training started. This training was in an air conditioned classroom, and I was sleeping in a hotel bed instead of inside the car in the middle of the jungle. However, although more comfortable, the environment was still hostile for women.

    Despite all the obstacles I was able to finish my training very successfully. I know this type of jobs are hard, but the hardest part was not he physical efforts, a women can get used to that. The hardest part to deal with are all the condescending looks, we cannot get used to that. We have to claim our role in every part of this society, even this type of jobs.

  • As a woman in the computer science field, I find myself the victim of discrimination often. At my university, only 11% of the students in the computer science major are women. Computer science is a “man” driven field, just like S. Jessop found herself in a “man” driven field. To combat this, I started the Women in Computer Science Club at my university and single-handedly was able to get our Student Government Association to pass the club. I also relate to S. Jessop because I have felt often that I had to work extremely hard to prove that I can do my job as well as a man can, but usually I feel that I can do it better just like she did.

    She also states “I believe that if you love what you do you will never WORK a day in your life.” I love software engineering and I do it in my spare time. I love being able to absolutely know if your program is correct or not because it either works or it does not. I believe that because I love software engineering, I will never feel like I am working a day in my life because it is fun to me. S. Jessop put it best when she said “This job is stressful, but if you love it you take it in stride because you love what you do.”

    Therefore, I relate to S. Jessop because she is a pioneer in her field. She paved the way for women by just working in a male dominated field. Although she says that she did quit, those months that she worked there allowed other women to notice that they can work in male dominated fields. That is what I wish to achieve.

  • With being a woman, it is very difficult to get the “good paying” jobs such as working in the gold mine, construction or even military jobs. I am striving to get a Bachelor of Science in Psychology so I can go on to medical school and eventually become a doctor, which was once (and still is) dominated by men. Many people see women in the medical field as nurses but never as doctors and I wish to defy that stereotype. Many of my friends have good paying jobs here and they only have a high school diploma whereas if I want to get a good paying job that pays as much as they make I have to have a Bachelors MINIMUM to be considered for employment. I want to be able to defy the odds and set the way for women in Alaska!

  • when i was working in the culinary industry many men gave me crap on how i dont have a hard enough hart or strong enough endurance for the competitions. that only fuiled the fire that pushed me to be a national championship winner on a high school leve

  • I just relate to this story because I feel no matter what the situation, there’s always some sort of double standard when it comes to women doing real work. It’s really hard to be taken seriously anywhere. I don’t understand why every woman, or every man for that matter, has to be treated as if they should fit into a perfect little mold their gender has made up for them before they’re born. Some women enjoy hard work like this, others don’t. Some males enjoy work like this, some don’t. It seems really important that both sexes are welcome to join whatever profession they want if they are capable. If that were the case, we would see how capable both are.

  • I understand her struggle. I am a young female in a man driven major, biology. Being in classes at my college I often get questioned why I want to be a bio major. I feel derided when I get asked these questions as if I don’t belong in these classes or major because I am a female.

  • My stepfather is a truck driver and for years I have watched the struggles he’s had with the job, his only inhibitor being a family back home and a bad back, well, those and occasionally a broken truck. And so to read Jessop’s story, it’s like seeing a whole new side of something I thought I knew well. It’s astounding to me, that I never realized how difficult this sort of job environment could be for a woman.

    As a woman, I’ve been forced out of things I loved since I was a little girl. Soccer, my interest in scouting, even my investment in so-called “nerd culture.” On numerous occasions I’ve had boys and even grown men scoff at my love of Star Wars, tell me I shouldn’t do things because they weren’t feminine. And so, in a lot of those cases, I adapted my interests to find a way to fit into worlds that didn’t want me.

  • Ms. Jessep, I loved reading your story. Although we both have different careers, we each share similar work situations. On the surface, bartending does not seem anything like truck driving, but it’s working in a male dominated industry that I share with you. We both face sexism, questioning of whether or not we are “good enough” for this job, and we possibly make less money than our male colleague. I definitely felt like I related most to you when you said that in order to do this job, you have to love what you do.
    When I was 16, my mom and I were sitting at a bar and she said how she could never imagine being a bartender because “they never stop moving.” Here I am at 23, I started bartending two years ago in order to get myself through college. It’s true, we do never stop moving. We don’t get breaks to eat, sit, or use the restroom. We work anywhere from 8 to 16 hours sometimes on end, putting fake smiles on our faces even when we are exhausted, all to ensure that our guests are happy. A question I get asked frequently is “Do you like your job?” And I do, I love my job. It’s hard, laborious, tiring work, but I love it. I feel like I am at my best when I am working, and I think that you feel that way too about your job. I am glad to see another woman in a sexist field, dominating the workplace, making it her own, and loving every minute of it.

  • This interview was very interesting as it pertains to feminism. In high school, I played baseball with the boys for all four years. I could tell that they didn’t expect much from me, but I was better than most of the players. As we got older, I lettered. It was difficult, not because of my peers, but because of the coaches. They didn’t want me to play, would rarely put me in the game, would not coach me. The difference was that I stayed with it. I loved playing baseball and it didn’t matter that I was by myself and people made fun of me. I wish you would have stayed with it if it was truly something you loved to do. It’s hard for people to find something they enjoy for work, and make good money. It is breaking barriers like these that will pave the way for other women.

  • I have a friend who drives a truck as an employee and he used to work OTR which was hard for his wife and his 4 year old son. He would call his wife several times a day, even at work, because he was lonely but majority of the time just bored. The interviewee’s experience working at the oil rig was grievous. It reminded me of a movie called North Country. It’s based on a true story where a woman who was continually harassed in her town’s mining field that she took her case to court. It’s 2017 and we still see women discouraged and disrespected no matter their education not skill set.

  • It is stories like these that are important to hear. There are many that believe discrimination is no longer an issue in modern America. I would disagree and I think Ms. Jessop would, too. As a gay man, I can relate to discrimination on the job. Of course, sexism is very different from discrimination based on sexuality; albeit, these are both examples of workplace discrimination that need to be addressed in our society. I find Ms. Jessop’s perseverance in her field remarkable. It is the tenacity that she exemplifies that leads to positive changes facing workplace discrimination.

    I have had co-workers not want to work with me due to my sexuality. Needless to say, this made work environments uncomfortable, but I have learned that this not my burden, but those that are uncomfortable with diversity. I can recall the first job I had my supervisor did not like to approach me or have conversations with me (even regarding work) because my sexuality made him “uncomfortable.” He was not the only one who acted in this manner. My employment was in a conservative town, so this view was not uncommon. Many of my coworkers made work less than desirable. Naturally, at first, this made me quite sad. It is disappointing to be judged by your sexuality, sex, etc. rather than your quality of work. However, I have learned the diversity I bring to the table is a gift. I may face discrimination because I am a proud and unafraid gay man, but this adversity has given me humility and empathy. For that, I am grateful. I am determined to always fight for what is right because I believe in leaving the world better than I found it. As minorities, we should demand better from our fellow humans. Through perseverance and determination, people like Ms. Jessop and me can help end workplace discrimination.

  • I admire you and the work you’ve taken on as a woman, but also as a human being. I was drawn to this post because it reminded me of my dad, I asked him once when he was a kid what he wanted to be while growing up. He said Truck driver. I can’t say that I want to be a truck driver, but I can relate to knowing that this career is viewed as male culture. I think the career path I want to get into can relate to male based culture.

    I want to be an illustrator. I’m an creative type. From what I can see and remember, artist have always been male or have been credited to males. I knew there were female artist out there, but I never felt that they never got the credit or acknowledgment each one of them deserve. Not that male artist are great. I’m in awe with every artist and I believe that every single on of these human beings in creative world have influenced every up coming generation.

    I’m not bashing males artist. My favorite artist is James Jean. I admire him. I guess I just wish women were more recognized and moved up in any company creatively or independently. GUESS what…there is. and that makes me even more excited that my wish has come true.

    More and more women are coming out doing things that men do such as comic book writing. I want to be a comic book illustrator, and to know that more women are surfacing and giving hope to young people that it’s possible to be in a such a male based culture. It’s possible to be able to attain the ability to draw just as good as anybody well.

    It’s daunting too because not all humans in this area is encouraging, it’s extremely competitive. which means I have to work harder and prove my being to others I can do what any other man or female can do. I want to be able to work in a community. I want to work together as a team. I want to work with awesome human beings all to create art and influence more minds to be creative!

  • I too found myself feeling unwanted when I went into the Truck Driving field. It is a field dominated by men and they still do not accept female truck drivers in the field. I get heckled over the CB while driving down the road, at truck stops, etc. It is very annoying, however, it is slowly changing. I feel that the more women we get into this industry, the better it will be.