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Seattle City (spot)Light: Peggy Gramling

Peggy Gramling has worked at City Light for just over 30 years. She began her career as an assistant electrical engineering specialist in the mapping group. From there, she’s worked as a power analyst in Power Supply; a service engineer in Network Engineering and a supervisor in the NetGIS group. She now works in Asset Management & Large Projects as the Asset Data Management and Integrity Supervisor. “I’m part of the data services group,” Peggy explained. “We help City Light get their asset data in order. Not only does it help us work smarter, but it’s at the core of so much of what we do.”

Peggy has lived in Seattle for 40 years. She was born and raised in New York. “People communicate differently in New York than they do here,” she shared with a laugh. “And when my New York comes out, I can have a difficult time communicating in Seattle!”

Peggy studied engineering at North Seattle College. She’s “eternally grateful” for her family which includes two wonderful grown kids and two exceptional grandsons.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Peggy talks about women in engineering and what she loves about her job.

Peggy (second from the right) with her family

“I love Seattle. It’s the most beautiful city in the world. I often pinch myself to think how lucky I am to have landed here. Much like New York, I appreciate the diversity that’s here. I’m also proud to live in a state that has two women senators, a woman mayor and now a woman CEO & General Manager of our utility. It’s exciting. I hope it’s a harbinger of what’s to come at the utility; that we use more of the women power we have at our fingertips.”

“When I first started here, there was a group called WEST. I believe it stood for Women in Engineering Support Team. There weren’t a lot of women in engineering back then. Now, we have the Women in Power group who just won a Light Power and Pride award for their work in the organization. We need more groups like that. I find it amazing how little progress we’ve made in the past 30 years. Even when I was studying engineering, a professor told our class (including 2 women) that women had no place in technologies.”

“One of the things that’s kept me at City Light is that we provide public power. When I first started, I didn’t know anything about our business, but the more I learned, the more I poured my heart and soul into it. I think it’s an amazing thing. We’ve had City Council members refer to City Light as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and I think that’s right. I hope it can stay on a path of continuous improvement.”

“I’m planning to retire toward the end of the year. Beyond public power, what I’ve really loved about my time at City Light is the many people committed to public service. I’ve really enjoyed working with them. I will miss them and being part of their continuing work. They are so giving, so generous. We organize our fundraisers like ‘I swear…it’s for the kids!’ because many of us feel fortunate and just want to give back.  It’s also a great team building activity. As for retirement, no big plans yet; maybe I’ll get a dog.”