It’s not easy being a woman working in a male-dominated field. But for Jewelstine Moore, it comes naturally.
“I encourage young females to step outside the more common route for your career,” Moore said. “Yes, we need teachers, nurses and homemakers. But let’s think about those daughters whose fathers are teaching them how to work on cars or on a piece of a machine. There are good, alternative careers out there.”
Moore has been at CF Industries for the past 35 years. When she joined the local industry in 1984, she was the first and remains the only female in her department. Despite her gender, she is a part of the team that handles the maintenance of all electronic equipment at the Yazoo City complex.
From replacing a transformer to installing a fuse, Moore has proven her worth as a Level Four Technician.
“We maintain the plant, electrical-wise,” she said. “We also do a lot of preventive maintenance and our own troubleshooting.”
The Linwood native admits it was difficult at first entering into a field dominated by males. But she said it was the work itself and not her team that was challenging.
“I was not familiar with a lot of the mechanical equipment at first,” she said. “But the guys took their time to teach and train me. Now, I am very comfortable with everything. And in the beginning, it was probably difficult for the guys to work with a female. What might seem normal to them may not be the same for me. But we work as a family now, and we do a good job.”
Moore said, from the outside, the work may seem stressful. But she said that is not the case anymore.
“A machine doesn’t argue back with you,” she said, with a laugh. “But, seriously, you begin to become comfortable with the machine you are working it. Believe it or not, it becomes less stressful. You may have computers that assist you greatly with your work, but it is also about logic and discovering a solution on your own. From what I learned here on the job as far as problem-solving, I apply in my home.”
Moore said she speaks to other females about the possibility of pursuing a different career path, particularly in the vocation or STEM fields.
“This can be a great working environment for young ladies,” Moore said. “I do something new every day, and I am not confined to an office. I work all over this plant, moving from spot to spot. You may have ideas to be that third-generation teacher or nurse. But if you feel there is another calling, I encourage you to explore those careers.”
Aside from paying bills and putting food on the table, Moore said her career at CF Industries has helped her become a better problem-solver, a dedicated team player and a quick learner.
“Working in these kinds of environments, there is so much you can learn that is not found in books,” Moore said. “Step outside your comfort zone, explore other careers. Bottom line, get to work.”