Math at Work: Women in Nontraditional Careers

Math at Work: Women in Nontraditional Careers


Thirteen women ranging from a helicopter pilot, an architect, a police officer, and a firefighter, to machinists & welders, highlight how they use mathematics on the job.

“Inspirational” – School-to-Work News.

DVD length: 15 minutes


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From Math at Work: Women in Nontraditional Careers DVD:
     Copyright © Jocelyn Riley

“I really had a hard time with math until I got into welding and then I found out how the numbers related to what I was actually doing. There’s pictures and numbers with the blueprints and, rather than just playing with numbers on a piece of paper, now they had some relevance and then it became interesting.”

You have to have math skills.”
   --Apprentice Plumber

“Everybody has a print and is working on different things and when you come together in the end the whole thing has to fit together, so we work within ten-thousandths of an inch. . . .”
   --Mold-Making Apprentice (Machinist)

“You do use a lot of math. You don’t have to be a math genius. . . . You need to be able to calculate distance.”
National Guard Helicopter Pilot

“I never thought of myself as being a mathematically inclined individual particularly at all, but in point of fact I can take an accurate measurement and I can use formulas to figure out what I need to fabricate. . . .”
Sheetmetal Worker

“I have to do a fuel report, which involves a heck of a lot of math. . . . I do math every day now. We dip our tanks; we have fuel tanks that we fill up the trucks with and that requires not even very complicated math, but a lot of adding and subtracting, multiplying, and figuring out how the fuel is doing.”

“And now it sounds kind of silly because I’m forty years old and when I had to do anything math-wise I would freeze up and panic. . . . They always say the light will come on and you’ll finally understand what you’re looking at and it did. That was one of my greatest achievements--that I finally learned a skill and wasn’t afraid of numbers anymore.”