Mar 02, 2023
Hobart Service Women’s History Month
Women Technician Feature: Ravon Williams, Sharolyn Langseth and Renee Wagner
Service Technician, New York
Since I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to work in a trade of some sort. One of my role models, who was like an uncle to me always had a good story to tell about him working on a construction site. He taught me how to cut ceiling tiles, rewire light switches, replace light bulbs, and things of similar nature. As I got older, I started to pursue trades for myself, which began with the aspiration to become an architect and then I started taking construction laboring classes. I finally found my calling as a service tech when I went to school for HVAC at Lincoln Tech.
Some of the things I wish I knew early in my career were that going to trade school is more affordable, shorter, and focuses on hands-on activities just as much as the theory which makes it a great stepping stone in the trade work industry.
Women’s History Month is a chance for all our accomplishments as women to be showcased. This way, all of women’s hard work and effort can be demonstrated and normalized.
"Do not let the fact that we as female technicians are small in numbers blindfold us from the fact that women are known for our endurance and can thrive in any environment."
Sharolyn (Shari) Langseth
Service Technician, Minneapolis
Funny enough my future Son-In-Law Sam S. inspired me to apply for a position with Hobart. He started about 6 weeks before I did. Sam was very excited about his new position and told me about it at length. After hearing him describe the position and his duties I thought it might be a good fit for me. Also, he and my daughter laughed and said they did not think I could do it. I often like to engage in activities that perhaps are not with the status quo for a female. I’ve always liked to prove to my children (all 5) that they can do anything they put their minds to. I love to be that example for them.
I want to encourage women in not just this industry to branch out and try new things. I delight in learning, and I can learn numerous new things in this position daily. I often run into men who seem skeptical of a female doing this type of work. I feel like when I succeed, I am succeeding for all women. I am proving to people that women can accomplish anything they set their minds to and do it well. I am stretching and expanding boundaries.
"I want all little girls who have an interest in "how things work" to play with tools and feel welcome in a field they can excel in. My advice would be for any female who has an interest or an aptitude for fixing things or figuring things out to jump in and check out an exciting and lucrative career in this industry. You’ll never be bored as the work is always challenging and equally rewarding."
A love for working with customers and helping them. Machines are only a small part of the job we do and the role we play. Building positive and lasting relationships with customers is one of my top priorities. I am eager to learn and strive to excel in everything I do. I revel at the moment when I tell people that I've taken care of their issues and helped them get back to business as usual. I picture myself with hands on hips and my Hobart cape flying aloft behind me in the wind!
I wish that I had known earlier that it was feasible for women to become more prevalent as well as relevant in this industry. Women's History Month means an opportunity to focus on women from all walks of life and careers. It's an excellent time to really "see" all that women contribute to the fabric and enrichment of our lives.
I want to be a beacon of empowerment for women.
Many times, when I've arrived at jobs women are surprised to see me. They'll ask, “You’re the one here to fix it?!” They’re honestly surprised and often delighted to see a woman arrive to fix their issue/problem. I’ve had them whoop and holler and give me a high five.
Some feel more heard and reassured when talking to a woman. It also gives them hope and reassurance to see women doing this type of job. I love being that face of inspiration for them and for young women who hadn’t thought of this type of career. I tell them, "I'm just out here saving the culinary world from disaster one machine at a time!" Now, just where is that cape of mine?
Service Technician, Richmond
I always enjoyed tearing my toys apart and trying to fix them. When I met my husband Darryl, I found he loved to do the same and had started a business. He encouraged me a lot throughout my career and still does. Being and living as a Christian helps me in my daily work tasks. I have found that customers appreciate honesty. I strive to diligently follow the needed steps to fully troubleshoot the equipment.
"This is not just a male industry. If you enjoy troubleshooting and repair work, go for it. I strongly believe that what matters is 'on the inside' and how we treat each other. I am glad to be a part of the 'Hobart family' and that we are recognizing the potential in female technicians."