LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – There are approximately 550 linemen working for Entergy and only one of them is a woman.
Sara Russell-Lingo is the first woman to become a lineman for Entergy. Russell-Lingo said she likes the outdoors and doesn’t long for a job with four walls around her.
“I love hard work, I’m not an office-type woman,” she said.
She said she saw an advertisement for trade jobs and was immediately drawn to it. She then applied to become a lineman for Entergy and was accepted.
New applicants spend about six weeks at a boot camp to make sure they are aware of the basics of the job. She also had to prove she could handle the physical demands of the job and being a woman in a male-dominated field she knew she would have to do more than get by.
“Me being a woman I did kind of have to prove myself physically so I was worried about that at boot camp,” Russell-Lingo said.
She proved herself and after that, she was one of the guys.
“They treat me like a sister, they really help me with my tools and the mechanic part. So they didn’t treat me any different,” Russell-Lingo explained.
She even passed boot camp at the top of her class. She was then paired up with a Journeyman Serviceman Aaron Ramos to begin her apprenticeship.
Ramos reminds Russell-Lingo it’s not just about brute physical strength. She can use techniques taught to them to get by but what he stresses to her is the knowledge of “what does what and why does it do it” in regards to electrical lines.
He has a simple message to her to work smarter not harder.
Ramos was not concerned he had the first woman lineman in Entergy to train up, his only concern was can she do the job.
He said she is progressing like any normal apprentice would be at the same point.
“As long as she just keeps absorbing everything that is taught to her, she’ll be just fine,” Ramos said.
Ramos believes this will become less of a story and more the norm in the future. He said he has seen more women getting into trades like welding and plumbing.
“So trades, you’re starting to see now more women trying to transition so, you know, they can do it just as well as men,” Ramos explained.
Russell-Lingo hopes she can inspire other women to get into trades, such as lineman, as she has already proven it can be done.
“I would love to have a companion to work with!” Russell-Lingo exclaimed.
Earlier in the year Entergy also hired Kassie Cramer as the first woman mechanic they have ever had.