November 6, 2023
The Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC) is determined to break down gender stereotypes in the utility industry. They are committed to empowering high school girls through their annual Girl Power event, which recently held its third successful gathering. The event was organized this past Friday at the VMDAEC training center located in Palmyra, VA. It welcomed 85 high school girls, providing them an opportunity to experience the workings of an electric line crew.
The Girl Power event is a unique initiative that provides hands-on experience to the participants. The program is designed to introduce girls to the utility industry, equipping them with practical skills such as operating bucket trucks and even climbing utility poles. The event not only offers a sneak peek into the technical aspects of the industry but also focuses on enriching their knowledge about the safety protocols followed by line crews. This emphasis on safety ensures that the participants understand the importance of precautionary measures in such a challenging work environment.
The girls participating in the event are not left to figure things out on their own. They received guidance and mentorship from industry professionals throughout the program. This year CBEC’s own Mary Ann Gober, Director of Executive Services and Human Resources, and Maiya Ashby, Director of Communications attended and participated in the event. Their attendance provided the participants with an invaluable opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals in the field.
In addition to the hands-on experiences and insights from professionals, the Girl Power event also provides personal development opportunities. The participants are offered guidance on how to improve their resumes and enhance their interviewing techniques, as well as how to make smart financial choices at an early age. This focus on personal development ensures that the girls are not only technically equipped but also have the soft skills necessary to excel in their future careers.
The Girl Power event has been growing in popularity since its inception. With 85 high school girls in attendance this year, it’s clear that the event is making significant strides in attracting more participants each year. This increasing attendance is a testament to the event's success in inspiring young girls to explore career opportunities in the utility industry. It also showcases the efforts of VMDAEC and its partners in promoting gender equality in this traditionally male-dominated field.
The 3rd Annual Girl Power event by VMDAEC is more than just an event; it’s a powerful initiative to empower the next generation of female leaders in the utility industry. By providing them with practical skills, mentorship from industry professionals, and personal development opportunities, the event equips these young girls with the tools they need to succeed. While there is still a long way to go in terms of achieving gender equality in the industry, initiatives like this are undoubtedly paving the way.