Fighting for Women's Equality

Tradeswomen Tuesday: Sara Rick, Boilermaker, Local 83 Kansas City

September 28, 2015 | by

This is the second in the Boilermaker series brought to you by Tradeswomen Tuesday’s first Boilermaker Rose Lerini.

Sara Rick Boilermaker at work

What is your trade?

I am an all-around Boilermaker from Local 83 in Kansas City, Missouri. I started in the trades almost ten years ago. I am a tube and plate welder, rigger and work demolition too. I have worked as a foreman, general foreman and a shop steward as well.

What attracted you to the trade?

I joined the trade in 2006 when I was 23 years old. I had little to no idea what I was getting myself into. My aunt actually suggested that I look into the trade.  I decided it had to be better than what I was doing at that time. I had several different jobs to make ends meet, including working as a massage therapist, security and bartending.

What was it like when you first started?

The biggest challenge for me was proving myself to everyone. Letting everyone know I could do the work. When I first started, I was so scared and the guys were sooo hard on me. There were times I just wanted to quit.

What do you enjoy most about your trade, what are the challenges?

The best part of my trade is that I love what we do. The worst part is the time spent away from my family.

Because of my trade, I have been able to be independent and raise my kids. And at the same time I spend a lot of time away from my family but I know that because of my work, they have every necessity and more. I have two boys, Demetrius who is 10 and Elijah who is 7. The boys love to see pictures of me working. Elijah loves to put on my welding hood any chance he gets. They both know that mama has a dangerous job. They tell me to be careful every day.

Sara Rick Boilermakerr children upright
What do you think would have helped the most when you were just starting out?

It would have helped a lot if I had known what I was walking into and had a support team.

In this trade as a woman you got to prove yourself time and time again. You definitely have to be strong willed and not give two #&$/% about what people say or think.

What is your vision for the future for women in the trades?

I would like to see more women as superintendents, CEOs, engineers, and project managers. I have also seen too many women bring down other women so I would like to see more women supporting women.

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