FORT WORTH, Texas. — There’s a steady increase in women entering male-dominated trades in the United States, and in the Lone Star State, two are in control of the power.
It’s not unusual for Ursula Villareal an Stefania Gutierrez to get puzzled looks from people when they explain what they do for a living.
"I work with big switches. That’s usually what I tell them, like try to explain what I do in a sense,” said Gutierrez.
Because there are not many like her and Villareal who are out in the field making sure to keep the lights on for Texas.
"We test it to make sure that the settings that we put in the switches are actually gonna make the switches function properly,” said Villareal.
The two work with Oncor and even though for Gutierrez the opportunity came unexpectedly, the career has turned out to be better than anything else she thought she would be doing.
“Something you would never thought you would be doing but I really liked it,” said Gutierrez.
For Villareal, it was a path to continue after working on electricity on her Navy ship for nearly a decade, where she can continue having adventures and serve fellow Texans.
“That is the most exciting part, we get to travel a lot because we’re in charge of all the distribution that Oncor deals with so it’s a great opportunity to travel all around Texas,” shared Villareal.
In a male-dominated field, they are paving the way for many women to come, they have gained their colleague’s respect and appreciation for their unique input.
“Complement each other as far as like ‘Hey, you know I would do this,’ or ‘Don’t you think it looks a little bit better doing it this way?' And they’re like, ‘Well, I never thought about that,' or like, ‘Oh yeah, that is a good idea,’ you know, so yeah, you definitely bring your ideas as a female and they take it very well,” added Villareal.
There’s another thing they both agree they’re also earning more of these days.
“Excellent money, excellent,” said the Navy veteran.
The satisfactions for this electric duo keep coming.
“Learning how to like be a leader finding your voice,” Gutierrez said.
They’re hoping down the line more women will join them as Texas women of power.