Congratulations are in order for Transmission Right-of-Way Crew Chief Margaret (Peggy) Owens and Lineworker Apprentice Erika Belsby who were recognized by Washington Women in Trades (WWIT) with top awards for their commitment and contributions to the skilled trades. Peggy was named Tradeswoman of the Year, and Erika is the recipient of the Peggy Cook Apprentice Award.
The annual awards program “recognizes, celebrates, and validates the successes and challenges” of women as they make history in non-traditional careers. Other award categories include Lifetime Achievement, Active Advocate, Union Activist, Instructor, Workplace Leader, the Josie Dunn Apprentice Award, and honorable mentions. See the full list of recipients here.
Peggy began her City Light career as a lineworker apprentice 24 years ago and now serves the utility as one of two crew chiefs on the Vegetation Management Team. “Peg is incredibly dedicated to her job, this utility, and her position as a tradeswoman,” said Vegetation Management & Fleets Manager Dave Bayard. “She’s responsive 100% of the time, day or night, in all weather, always ready to jump in and do her part. She’s deeply dedicated to her team and is very aware of her position as a successful tradeswoman in a male-dominated industry and works hard to serve as a role model for those coming up behind her.
Erika, who is almost halfway through the apprenticeship program, was inspired to become a lineworker through her participation in logger sports (i.e., ax throwing, wood chopping, sawing, and speed pole climbing). “I like the physical and mental challenges of being a lineworker,” Erika shared. “I love being outdoors. The work is different every day.
“This award puts me in a position to better advocate for women in this trade. It also allows me to highlight City Light’s apprenticeship programs,” Erika said. “I’m flattered WWIT recognized my hard work; it’s an honor to be in the company of the women who won this award before me. I want to help WWIT educate women on skilled trades careers and, hopefully, direct them to opportunities at City Light.”
Congratulations to Peggy and Erika on this well-deserved achievement. We tip our (hard) hats to you!