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Women make up 27 percent of utility’s workforce. New group could change that

About 150 women gathered Monday for the first Women's LINC event. The resource group was started to promote networking and career development for the women working at Tacoma Public Utilities.
About 150 women gathered Monday for the first Women's LINC event. The resource group was started to promote networking and career development for the women working at Tacoma Public Utilities. Courtesy

It’s about women helping women.

The utility industry may be male-dominated, but there are 420 female employees excelling at 115 different jobs within Tacoma Public Utilities.

Now, many of them have gathered to form the agency’s first resource group so women can connect, discover resources to advance their careers and find inspiration from other women.

The group is called Women’s LINC, which stands for lead, inspire and connect. It held its first event Monday, attracting 150 women for an interview panel, question and answer segment and networking social.

Bill Gaines, TPU’s director, said he hopes the resource group will attract more women to the field at a time when positions continue opening up due to retirements.

“We have had a difficult time attracting women into those roles and this makes tremendous sense to me,” he said.

Although women make up 51 percent of the community served by TPU, only 27 percent of the utility’s workforce is female.

The idea came last year after several female TPU employees attended a national conference and heard about other agencies with resource groups specifically for women.

This is TPU’s first resource group and will be used as a model for any future groups.

“It’s an opportunity to learn from each other and support each other,” said Francine Artis, a group founder who works as a customer service analyst.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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