Anne Latham is a manufacturing specialist at Alstom Transportation Inc., in Hornell, New York.
Anne followed in her mother’s footsteps after graduating high school and began working at Alstom in 1988. She started out as a “cleaning lady” at the railcar manufacturing facility where she stripped down old railcars.
After a decade, Anne moved into the electrical field. “I am now in the retention warehouse and responsible for all the parts that are removed from the car in a rebuilding contract. I make sure they are ready to go back to the car when it’s time to rebuild. In a typical day, we inventory parts as they come in and make part transfer and manage the flow of the whole process. Anything from building the carts that the parts are on to making sure they are ready for delivery and re-installation.”
Anne believes that women need role models like her mother in these professions. “Women need more confidence to know they can come into transit manufacturing and succeed,” she says, “I think this program is a good start to let women see that there are other women out here doing this and succeeding.”
Working alongside men as one of a few women can be challenging, but Anne says that she learned quickly not to be intimated and let them know she wouldn’t tolerate negative behavior. “I think each woman sets the working relationship and the men will pick up on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. The men here are for the most part respectful of the women.”