Occasionally in the 11 years I’ve been with the Monroe Journal, we’ve featured a spread that celebrated women in the workplace.
I remember stories featured years ago that featured two different employees of Monroe Regional Hospital, when it was called Pioneer Community Hospital, but the details are hazy. Best I can remember, Annie Payne was in the center of one when working in the canteen, and I distinctly remember going to the ER after 11pm a few years later for a photo shoot of a nurse who I vaguely remember being a truck driver or a mechanic in a previous professional life.
The two illustrate the numerous examples of different professional backgrounds that women exhibit in the workplace.
Although it was probably 20 years before taking on those assignments, I distinctly remember my mother explaining that women can do any job that males can do. A 5 or 6 year old me kept firing professions such as an astronaut or a police officer and the answer was yes to each of them.
Even if a football player or race car driver was not on my list of professions in question that day, athletes like Danica Patrick and the growing list of women playing in the high school and college grid are examples of changing times. in a continuous age when girls can do everything a man can do.
About this time of year, two years ago, we were finishing our first industry magazine, which featured a publication on a working day at Tronox. While I spent a whole day taking a look at the daily operations, I met several production workers, administrative staff and scientists who were all women.
I guess, like any other job, a lot of them decided they wanted to do a certain job, and Tronox is where they found their place.
No matter who you are and what you are doing now, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something.
In the planning stages of a Women at Work release this year, it was a no-brainer that we had to introduce Shaina King and Brittany Burdine in some way. The two sisters aren’t afraid of getting a little fat on their hands working in a predominantly male workplace: an oil change, a full-service automobile business.
Around this time next week, you can see through our third industry magazine, agriculture is just as welcoming to women as well. From the insight of Penny Fair, who is executive director of the Monroe County Farm Service Agency, to Barbara Wilson, who found her post-retirement profession in aquaculture, yes, females can work well with farms.
I don’t care who you are or what you do from a business point of view, manual labor and activities that numb the mind can wear down our muscles and mental states after a while. Anyone can complain about a growing pile of reports to file or the number of 50-pound bags or boxes to lift, but anyone with the right attitude can make it until it’s time to stop.
I’ve heard people say that before our sports editor started years ago a male can do it better. My answer then was to give her a chance because there is one who has done it right for years in New Albany and who knew she would eventually be one of my bosses through the Daily Journal? Who knew our sporting director was going to win several Mississippi Press Association awards?
I have another colleague and former colleague who can only work on it for fun in the gym doing box jumps and burpies when most people would spend it for relaxing time at home.
No matter who you are, you can do anything you want, from living a law enforcement dream to having your seat at the head of the table.
Mom taught me from that conversation at a young age to believe that no matter if you are male or female, you can earn a salary by doing anything. Thanks to the women at work who run Monroe County; we couldn’t do it without your drive, compassion, sternness and dedication.