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Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer

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Writer and accidental feminist takes you through more than 20 years of the highs and lows of New York City construction work, with an eye for the ridiculous and the pathos of being a pioneering woman in a "man's world." From being in NYC during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to trying to explain why refilling a fire extinguisher with pure oxygen is a bad idea, every day is Writer and accidental feminist takes you through more than 20 years of the highs and lows of New York City construction work, with an eye for the ridiculous and the pathos of being a pioneering woman in a "man's world." From being in NYC during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to trying to explain why refilling a fire extinguisher with pure oxygen is a bad idea, every day is an adventure for a woman who became a safety engineer to provide for her family while making sure the workers on her projects went home to theirs.


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Writer and accidental feminist takes you through more than 20 years of the highs and lows of New York City construction work, with an eye for the ridiculous and the pathos of being a pioneering woman in a "man's world." From being in NYC during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to trying to explain why refilling a fire extinguisher with pure oxygen is a bad idea, every day is Writer and accidental feminist takes you through more than 20 years of the highs and lows of New York City construction work, with an eye for the ridiculous and the pathos of being a pioneering woman in a "man's world." From being in NYC during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to trying to explain why refilling a fire extinguisher with pure oxygen is a bad idea, every day is an adventure for a woman who became a safety engineer to provide for her family while making sure the workers on her projects went home to theirs.

40 review for Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer

  1. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Budworth

    This is the most insightful read on influencing skills since Cialdini. Wendy Delmater Thies found herself a single parent in New York and set out to become a safety engineer in the tough environment of that city’s rail and construction industries . Her memoir sets out how she overcame the technical challenges of high hazard work in densely populated neighbourhoods, negotiating the prejudice of co-workers and clients to deliver safe sites. It’s an inspirational read and not only for those sharing This is the most insightful read on influencing skills since Cialdini. Wendy Delmater Thies found herself a single parent in New York and set out to become a safety engineer in the tough environment of that city’s rail and construction industries . Her memoir sets out how she overcame the technical challenges of high hazard work in densely populated neighbourhoods, negotiating the prejudice of co-workers and clients to deliver safe sites. It’s an inspirational read and not only for those sharing Wendy’s passion for ensuring their colleagues go home to their families at the end of the working day. Her perseverance in achieving safety qualifications whilst working full time and raising her children show us all what can be achieved with determination and good humour. I wish I could have read this book at the start of my working life.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Randall

    Confessions Of A Female Safety Engineer uncorks what it means and how it feels to be a woman charting a career course in a field predominantly and historically dominated by men. This collection of tales introduce you to Wendy, whose perseverance, strength, and courage humbles me as a woman, for I don’t know that I could rise as strong as she did in the face of all the adversity she experienced. This collection of experiences, which span Wendy’s career from arduous start to triumphant finish, wil Confessions Of A Female Safety Engineer uncorks what it means and how it feels to be a woman charting a career course in a field predominantly and historically dominated by men. This collection of tales introduce you to Wendy, whose perseverance, strength, and courage humbles me as a woman, for I don’t know that I could rise as strong as she did in the face of all the adversity she experienced. This collection of experiences, which span Wendy’s career from arduous start to triumphant finish, will re-introduce you to the meaning of ‘work’ and ‘try’ and ‘gumption’. You’ll shake your head at all she had to (often needlessly, and because of sheer misogyny) face. You’ll laugh sometimes. At other points you’ll tear up. You will, without question, root for Wendy. New York City plays a starring role in this wonderful memoir, and you’ll be introduced, through ‘the back door’ to places in New York familiar from every movie and book you’ve ever read. You will hold your breath, all over again, as you experience 9/11/01 through Wendy’s eyes as a safety engineer positioned way too close to Ground Zero. You will learn, and be in awe, of all that goes on in order to facilitate quality—and safe—infrastructure. I loved this fine, moving memoir. It made me want to meet Wendy and shake her hand, thank her for being an example of all that women can be when we work our tushes off and refuse to be ‘put in our place’. 5 Enthusiastic Stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    James Hartley

    This is a well-written, honest, detailed account of what Delmater experienced after retraining as a Safety Officer in New York City following a marriage break-up which left her with three young sons to feed and house. Brilliantly written, this book takes you along on Delmater´s journey where, time and again, she has to fight prejudices in these male-dominated workplaces. I received a copy of the book from the author and also interviewed her on my website.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Iseult Murphy

    Safety engineering is fascinating! I know very little about construction and even less about safety engineers, but I found these stories of working on building sites in New York City and saving lives fascinating. Even better than the stories is Wendy herself. I love her attitude, how she deals with people and does her job properly. I found her very inspiring and I would like to be more like her. Her writing is also very engaging. This book shows how important it is to do your job well, to care ab Safety engineering is fascinating! I know very little about construction and even less about safety engineers, but I found these stories of working on building sites in New York City and saving lives fascinating. Even better than the stories is Wendy herself. I love her attitude, how she deals with people and does her job properly. I found her very inspiring and I would like to be more like her. Her writing is also very engaging. This book shows how important it is to do your job well, to care about others, to have the attitude that there is always something more to learn and to have an accurate value of your time and skills. I highly recommend this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick Braker

    Wendy's real life account of her personal and working career is engaging and VERY interesting. I loved reading about all the crazy things people do on job sites. The writing is personal and well done. Wendy knows how to put a story together. Note that the book is a long one and I didn't even notice until the end. Great work, Wendy! I'm going to look for more of your work. Kudos. Wendy's real life account of her personal and working career is engaging and VERY interesting. I loved reading about all the crazy things people do on job sites. The writing is personal and well done. Wendy knows how to put a story together. Note that the book is a long one and I didn't even notice until the end. Great work, Wendy! I'm going to look for more of your work. Kudos.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth Kitzing

    Growing up in New York I had no idea that the complex construction jobs explained in Confessions of a Safety Engineer were taking place just down the road. Of course everyone thinks about the constant construction going on that thickens traffic and changes the landscape, but no one ever casts a thought to the dangerous and vital work of the obligatory safety engineer positioned at each construction site. The complexity of the work safety engineers do and the danger they keep others from is clear Growing up in New York I had no idea that the complex construction jobs explained in Confessions of a Safety Engineer were taking place just down the road. Of course everyone thinks about the constant construction going on that thickens traffic and changes the landscape, but no one ever casts a thought to the dangerous and vital work of the obligatory safety engineer positioned at each construction site. The complexity of the work safety engineers do and the danger they keep others from is clearly illustrated in this great book. I found it well written, interesting, informative and enlightening. That Ms. Delmater adds humor here and there is an extra plus. Among the tales of political struggles between bosses and her personal development against all odds, (single mother trying to make a career change, go to college and bring up three boys at the same time), Ms. Delmater paints the careful way she chose to handle relationships with men at these sights in order to get them to prioritise their own safety without coming across as a nag. It's great to read about how she carefully uses diplomacy and female intuition to get the men on her team to work together. She calls herself an "accidental feminist". I say, she is a role model for all feminists who want to change this world with intelligence, care, respect and cordiality. I highly recommend Confessions of a Safety Engineer to anyone who wants a good read. It is entertaining and eyeopening - not just for those who live in New York or who work with occupational safety. It is just plain fun to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    J.A. Busick

    A glimpse through the keyhole If you've ever been in a city, and looked up at ongoing construction over your head and wondered, "How do they know that's safe?" this book is full of interesting information. The stories are fascinating. A fun read! A glimpse through the keyhole If you've ever been in a city, and looked up at ongoing construction over your head and wondered, "How do they know that's safe?" this book is full of interesting information. The stories are fascinating. A fun read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Woosley

    This was a different type of book than I normally read, but I couldn't help being engaged by the premise. It absolutely delivers. This is the true account of a woman using dedication and perseverance to take care of her family during her off-work hours and take care of her team during work hours. Delmater has the ability to make her stories relevant, personal, and entertaining. These are the stories you imagine being told after dinner or around a campfire because hidden beneath the entertaining This was a different type of book than I normally read, but I couldn't help being engaged by the premise. It absolutely delivers. This is the true account of a woman using dedication and perseverance to take care of her family during her off-work hours and take care of her team during work hours. Delmater has the ability to make her stories relevant, personal, and entertaining. These are the stories you imagine being told after dinner or around a campfire because hidden beneath the entertaining surface are life lessons: work hard, work smart, and speak up for yourself. This is a book I will be sharing with my daughters when they are older.

  9. 4 out of 5

    PaulESchilling

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendy S. Delmater

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sanda Dandy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Cisneros

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cinthia

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joan

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bill Schlott

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Best

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wanda C

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tressa

  23. 4 out of 5

    Debee Sue

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Arnela

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jolie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Siouxicue

  29. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

  31. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  32. 4 out of 5

    David Bathurst

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Heare Watts

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  35. 5 out of 5

    Alberta

  36. 5 out of 5

    bbunny

  37. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  38. 5 out of 5

    Denise Worley

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Salvaggio

  40. 4 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

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