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I Am A Female Certified Forklift Operator

I work in a very male oriented work site. I work as many things here. I am part logistics manager, part accounts payables, part receptionist, part shipper/receiver. I work at the family business, and soon wish to take it over so I need to learn every part of this company to best run it in the future.

Though the hardest part of the job, is working in the shop loading trucks with the rest of the men, thinking that I am a woman, not knowing any part of my job. I am a certified forklift operator. I did not have my boss certify me. Clearly, that would be a waste of people's time. I personally went to take a three day course, at a technical collage, to get properly certified. There was about 10 students, not including me. I was the only female in the class. The teacher was very open to the idea of having a female in his class. I also have had a lot of experience with the forklift while at my job, but I also formed some not to great habits as well.

When I was at class, I seemed to know a lot more than the rest of the class. I believe the class also had some experience as I did though for some reason, they were just not as in tuned as I was. During the last class, the final exam, I performed beautiful. One of the challenges was to drive the forklift with a pallet in a tiny space, drive in and back out without driving over the lines. I was the only one who performed this, perfectly. The teacher said this out loud to the class. I was quite impressed with myself.

I scored 100% on the final exam, where as the rest of the class, did not.

Back at work, I seem to always run into a driver who just doesn't understand that I know what I am doing. There was one driver who actually told me how to drive, they push me off my forklift to do this themselves. I was fuming. I yelled at him to get off "my forklift" and showed him my certificate. Then told him that I bet I could drive this forklift better than he can drive his own truck. He then just went back to his truck and sat in his cab for the rest of the time. I told my boss what happened and he walked out to get the papers signed for me. I was not going to talk to him after that. My boss stood up for me that day. We then phoned the dispatcher of that trucking company and made a personal complaint. He never came by again. The next driver who came, was very nice to me!

I know I will always have this problem. I hate that males, seem to think that women can not drive. That is true for some women, but not all. Please do not group all of us together. We are not the same, as I try not to do this to you either.
eastsideswoman eastsideswoman 31-35, F 3 Responses May 9, 2011

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Hi All ,
Im looking urgently for female forklift drivers please contact me
Its in a work place where they want to empower more women and I already placed a female there she is VERY happy - Place is in pretoria please contact me :
Janine - 0793544656 -

o wow. haha yes I have been a woman certified forklift driver for 6 years and know one thing for sure..NONE of the men I ever worked with could drive better than me. I actually was the only women in my position for a company with 7 branches. I was actually fired 1 year ago by a male manager who was sexist and didnt like the fact that I stood up for myself. Anyway...wahoo good for you for doing the same!

Thank you, I've been debating getting certified just because of this same problem but after reading im doing it. =)