In Her Own Words…
“My name is Tanika Walker-Thomas. I have been in the trade for eleven years. I am a wife and mother of two.
I started out learning the electrical trade in Job Corp. I was hired on by an electrical contractor where I learned to use a pipe threading machine and how to install rigid pipe.
After working for eight months I got enrolled in the IEC Chesapeake apprenticeship program. I worked while going to school. During this time I found out I was expecting one of my children- but my employer told me, if I was up to the work I could continue working- and I was going to give up! I started working in the office building control cabinets
After three years, I took a job with a different contractor where I still work. This company does commercial and multi used building from ground up. I finished the IECC Electrical Apprenticeship program and graduated.
I started my journey at my present company as a 3rd year apprentice. I became a crew lead over both female and male electricians- not all male co-workers have been welcoming…but I don’t give up! This is my career and I realize it is still male dominated.
I have worked on several different projects in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Texas: The Wharf, City Center, 301 M. St. ,The Naval Academy, Fort Meade military base and a few data centers in Virginia and a Sports Park.
While working at these different projects I obtained several different certifications including forklift operator, Scissor Lift operator, grounding protection, and Cad welding certification.
In 2020 I had my second child and again found a way to work around it- and keep on working! After my child was born I came back and returned to my position as a crew lead.
This trade has shown me different strengths that I did not know that I had.
Always keep learning and advancing your career.
Any opportunity to get a new certification go get it
Always get the new training that the company has to offer.
Stay consistent in growing your knowledge in the trade.
Never let anything or anyone make you quit on your career – it’s rare for women to become electricians!
Women can work in Construction. We’re “built” for it! “
Thank you Tanika- for your tenacity, perseverance, and hard work! You make us proud to be Women In Construction!
VP IECC Business Development
Women In Construction Week