The Electrical Worker online
March 2023

My IBEW Story
index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
Pam Pendleton, foreman
Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245

"I grew up in Watts, California, a very rough neighborhood. My mother was a single mother for a long time, doing the best she could to raise us. I'd seen a lot of loss, a lot of tragedy. I decided that I wanted something different, so I joined the Navy. My first airplane ride was to boot camp. It made me realize that there was something else out there.

The uncertainty of leaving the Navy was stressful for me. I had several jobs, and I worked for a company that was not union. We had a lot of safety issues and a lot of injuries. No one listened. Then the guys got together and decided to approach the IBEW. I was hesitant at first, but I went home and thought about all the things I'd been seeing, and I couldn't sit back. Someone else was going to get hurt, so I had to do it.

I got on board, and I headed up the campaign. And Local 1245 took me door to door and prepared me. I really appreciate the time they spent with us. As a vet, this is the first time I've felt like I have sisters and brothers again.

I'm the first female foreman to be promoted in my department. I'm really proud of the position I hold, and I'm proud of the support I get from my leadership. I wouldn't be here without the IBEW. People tell me, 'You've got that alpha energy.' I never feel like I'm done. Even if they crack another door, they already know that I'm going to kick it down.

Who I am today only makes me focus on who I can be tomorrow. I know where I came from. I know what I went through, and I know where I am today. And that makes me the strong woman that I call myself today."