Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 7, 2013

Breaking traditions

TAHLEQUAH — In today’s society, a woman can be as strong as man, if not stronger.

For example, Lauren Silberman, 28, became the first woman to compete at a National Football League regional scouting event this week in New York. A few weeks ago Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole position for the Daytona 500.

They’re not alone: More and more, women of all ages are embarking on career paths that were traditionally held exclusively for their male counterparts.

March 3 -9 is Women In Construction Week, and organizations like the National Association of Women in Construction or Women in Non-Traditional Employment Roles use the time to promote the professional development, education and employment of women in high-wage, high-skill labor jobs or careers.

Indian Capital Technology Center offers education and training for some of these jobs, and for a second straight year, one of ICTC’s female students will be recognized for her accomplishments. Adult Auto Collision Repair student Hannah Ingram will receive the award April 22 in Tulsa, said instructor Bill Sprague.

“She’ll be recognized as the SkillsUSA Breaking Traditions Award Winner for the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “Last year, there was a girl here in the welding program who won it.”

Ingram is learning body and paint work, and has two years of automotive training under her belt. Her interest in working on automobiles is a sort of family calling.

“I kind of grew up around it. Most of the men in my family are mechanics. My aunts were in cosmetology, so I had it both ways, but I just found [working in an auto shop] more comfortable,” she said.

“I don’t know - it’s just a comfort zone. I’d rather be in a shop than in a salon. That’s just how it is. I grew up around salvage, so I’m used to the smells, the noises, the tools, being dirty – I just never had to worry about being pretty or having to dress up or anything for anybody. It was great.”

Ingram said when the situation calls for it, she becomes the woman she is, but she feels most comfortable when dressed for auto repair or similar work.

“It just depends on what I’m doing. If I have to look nice, I’ll dress up,” she said. “Other than that, I don’t worry about it.”

Ingram has a female peer in the ICTC welding program who has a similar background. Dayna Cowan, a senior at Tahlequah High School, grew up on a ranch helped her dad weld gates, fences and corrals.

 

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