PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — While the world works towards creating more equal opportunities for everyone, women have branched out more by seeking careers that may not fit the traditional quota.
Some women at Haney Technical College are not only seeking non-traditional careers but are excelling at them too.
When you think of a welder or mechanic you probably picture a man. But a couple of Haney Technical College students are changing that picture.
Johanna Thompson is a dual enrollment student who learned about the welding program from one of her high school teachers.
“I hear that females definitely do get paid a bit better because they’re smaller,” Thompson said. “So they can fit into smaller spaces than some of the guys but females can definitely do this, especially since they have good attention to detail. So it’s just a will.”
Thompson said once she enrolled, she was surprised to find other women in the program. She said welding is also a good skill to have when pursuing a career in marine biology.
Haney Technical student Lydia Swagger is seeking a mechanic’s certificate, she said people may find it easier to trust women when dealing with their cars.
“There’s definitely a lot of other women who would prefer to go to women,” Swigart said. “Because people who don’t know so much about cars can be easily tricked and so they have trouble trusting mechanics. And as woman, I’m more trustworthy and they don’t feel like they’re going to be tricked as much as with a lot of the male mechanics.”
She said her long-term goal is to open her own mechanic shop.
Haney Technical College is seeing more women and men seeking non-traditional careers.
“So we are very fortunate that we live in a country where there are opportunities for all people, regardless of their race, or sex,” community relations officer Alexandra Murphy said. “What we embrace at Haney is every one of our programs has non-traditional students in them, whether it is like what you’ve seen today, females in welding. We have male students in nursing. There isn’t a gender requirement in the programs.”
Murphy’s best advice is to find something you’re passionate about and pursue it.