Jennifer Narrod is a specialist at Alstom Signaling Inc. in Rochester, New York Specialist III-Alstom, Local Shop Chairman-IUE CWA Local 81-323
Jennifer started working at Alstom 16 years ago at 23 years old. Before Alstom, she was working in manufacturing at a different facility. She was initially declined because of her inexperience. However, they brought her back to the warehouse, where she completed job training in various departments.
“I came to the shop at 23 and worked with all men over 40 years of age, and they all wanted to treat me like a little girl,” says Jennifer, “I insisted on being treated equally and demanded that if they show me the job, I will be able to do the rest. The field I work in is mainly male dominated, but I encourage any female I can to get involved in the work. I was even able to bring my sister and another woman over to the shop.” 16 years later, she is also the shop steward of their union.
Jennifer feels if more women were more exposed to the world of manufacturing, they would pursue it as a career option. Recently, she has seen a growth of women entering the field and thinks it is due to schools introducing manufacturing trades to more females as a career option.
She was excited to participate in the Women Can Build project because it presents the opportunity to reach out to other and women and girls and let them know about different career options available to them. “It’s about receiving the right training and career opportunities to get them.” Jennifer is committed to breaking the old standard of women receiving less pay and fewer benefits.
She wants to be an example to all of the women. “I am the first female to be the shop chairman for the local and I am proud of it!” Jennifer said, “Being treated like a little girl when I first came to the shop to having most of the male workers support me being the new shop chairman shows how long of a way I’ve come in my field.”
“I just want to let girls and women know that these opportunities are out there and it doesn’t take a college education or a Ph.D. to get these jobs. I want to be an example to all of the women out there because I’m proud of what I do and what I’ve become.”