Breaking Ground and Breaking Barriers

Jessie’s Journey: From Heels to Steel Caps – Empowering Women in Utility Locating

In a tale of resilience and determination, Jessie McCracken is currently one of only nine women in Australia who are Certified Locators. Transitioning from corporate accounting to construction sites, her journey exemplifies the expanding horizons for women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

As an accountant, she was well accustomed to corporate life, but following the birth of her daughter and the unexpected separation from her husband just four days later, Jessie found herself in a challenging personal situation.

Jessie needed a career change, one that offered flexibility to manage the demands of single motherhood. Through assisting her parent’s earthmoving company, which utilised vacuum excavation trucks, she discovered the world of utility locating. Witnessing the work first-hand, Jessie saw an opportunity that fit her needs.

Jessie contacted a local Certified Locator that she knew of through her parents, Paul from CUSL (Cairns Underground Service Locators).

With Paul nearing retirement, Jessie enquired about the possibility of shadowing him to learn the ropes of locating. This initial request turned into Paul training and mentoring Jessie for a year, allowing her to gain valuable experience before pursuing formal certification through DBYD Certification with a goal to take over Paul’s business. She took over the service area and some of the clientele but had the freedom to take the business and make it her own.

Balancing motherhood and a demanding new skillset presented unique challenges. This period meant that she was breastfeeding between locating jobs, all while learning a new career.

In 2021, she took a bold step and founded Northern Underground Cable Finder, and ensured they became a Certified Locating Organisation. Through her company, she actively promotes a more inclusive and diverse workforce in the industry.

Trading high heels for steel-capped boots, Jessie’s story is an inspiration. Showcasing the exciting and flexible opportunities in utility locating for women, mothers, and younger generations. But her work goes beyond navigating underground networks. Safety is her focus. By ensuring the accurate identification of buried utilities, Jessie protects workers, infrastructure, and the communities she serves.

As she breaks barriers and explores new territories, Jessie McCracken’s journey reminds us that with determination and perseverance, any obstacle can be overcome, and any dream can be realised.

🔗 Connect with Jessie and Northern Underground Cable Finder:

Northern Underground Cable Finder

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