About two years ago, I wrote the story, "Women in Line Work," for T&D World's Lineman Supplement. Around that time, I also worked with Danielle Blanchette and the T&D World team to launch the Line Life Podcast, and Danielle narrated my feature story for the September 2021 podcast episode. We also included an interview with Emma Landherr, who was in New Orleans on storm duty following Hurricane Ida.
In late January of this year, I received an email from Olivia Wilson, a journalist with the BBC World Service requesting an interview with me for her mini radio documentary on female electrical lineworkers. She wanted to focus on Colombia's first-ever intake of apprentice linewomen, and she planned to interview some of the trainers and trainees. In addition, she wanted to talk to other line workers around the world about their experiences and learn more about women in the trade. She also included an interview with Rosa Vasquez, one of the first female lineworkers in the United States and a 2016 inductee into the National Lineman Hall of Fame. Because I'm a woman who has been covering the line trade for more than 15 years, she also requested an interview with me for the documentary.
We set up a Skype interview in mid-February from her studio in England and my home office in Kansas City, and she released the documentary in mid-May. Note that the voiceover from the Line Life Podcast episode is from when we first launched the podcast, and it's voiced by Danielle. Olivia featured a quote from me at the beginning of the documentary and then also an interview with me at the end following the segment about Pakistan.
Here's the episode description from Olivia:
"Electrical line workers work all kinds of hours in very challenging conditions to keep electricity flowing to our homes and businesses. It's traditionally been a very male occupation but that's changing as more women break into the industry.
We speak to Columbia’s first-ever intake of female apprentice line workers about their intensive training experience, and Rosa Vasquez – one of the first women to do the job in Texas in 1978. Over in Kansas, Amy Fischbach, the Field Editor for T&D World magazine, is raising awareness of the trade in a podcast about women in line work. We also head to Pakistan where there are currently no women in this line of work."
To download the radio documentary, visit the BBC website.
Also, don't forget to listen to our four-part Women on the Line series for our Line Life Podcast by subscribing to it on your favorite podcasting app or clicking here. You can also email us at [email protected].