In 1991, Monica Harwell became the first woman to climb electric utility poles for ConEdison in New York.

As a line constructor, her job was to install power lines dozens of feet in the air.

harwell extraShe worked alongside men whose families had been working on the lines for generations.

At StoryCorps, Monica (right) tells her daughter, Andrea Cleveland (left)—who now also works for ConEdison—that many of them never thought she’d make it.

Originally aired August 14, 2015, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Photo courtesy of Monica Harwell.