Women in Public Works: Female DPW employees aim to break stereotypes

Telegraph photo by GRACE PECCI Plant Operations Supervisor for the Nashua Wastewater Department Noelle Osborne speaks to Nashua High School South students about her job on Tuesday morning during a Women in Public Works event. The event was set to show young women the various opportunities available to them in their own community.

NASHUA – Hoping to break the stereotypes of certain jobs being mostly for men, six female employees within the Nashua Division of Public Works spoke of “girl power,” Tuesday at Nashua High School South.

Women representing all six departments of Public Works, including Administration, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, Solid Waste, Street and Wastewater, took female took girls in small groups to discuss their jobs. It was not mandatory for female students to attend, but about 50 girls did so.

Representatives brought their own displays with information and pictures to give the students a better idea of their everyday tasks within in the department.

Students were given “passports” for department representatives to stamp once they made it through a station. The passports were entered into a raffle at the end for goodies from each department.

The representatives who visited included Public Works Director Lisa Fauteux, Noelle Osborne with Wastewater Department, Niki Sawyer and Ashley Carusone with the Parks and Recreation Department, Mandeep Gill with the Engineering Department, Lauren Byers with the Administration Department, Carla Thibodeau with the Solid Waste Department and Kathie Berube with the Street Department.

Telegraph photo by GRACE PECCI City of Nashua Senior Staff Engineer Mandeep Gill shares her experiences of working for the city with Nashua High School South female students during a Women in Public Works event on Tuesday.

Fauteux said officials visited the school with the goal in mind to spark interest and inspire young women to join Public Works.

“If you go around and watch each one, you’ll see there is a lot of diversity here. We’re hoping (the students) will connect with somebody, especially now at a young age,” Fauteux said. “They often don’t realize all the opportunities that are available to them. There is a real need.”

Next year, the officials plan to visit Nashua High School North, and then the middle schools. Fauteux emphasized the importance of speaking with students when they are younger, before any other preconceived notions are made.

“This goes with our theme of trying to promote to students all of the different paths they can take. There are so many opportunities right here in his community,” Nashua Technology Center South Director Mike McQuilkin said.

Telegraph photo by GRACE PECCI About 50 Nashua High School South female students attend a Women in Public Works event Tuesday, during which they learned about city jobs.