Breaking News
More () »

'I'm not alone' | Female waste manager on breaking barriers in male-dominated fields

College Station Solid Waste Division manager Caroline Ask discusses her experiences breaking into a male-dominated profession.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — As many continue to celebrate women who have made history around the world, women are blazing their own trails in College Station on International Women's Day.

For the city, the public works department, which waste management falls under, hasn't always seen a lot of women in its ranks. However, that's changing, according to CSTX Solid Waste Division manager, Caroline Ask.

Those changes also come with its own set of challenges, such as breaking into male-dominated fields like waste management.

"A solid waste manager is mainly a team captain. You are taking care of your crew on a daily basis. Making sure they are put first,” said Ask. “A male-dominated space is not intimidating unless you are willing to be intimidated." 

She also handles solid waste collection, transportation within city limits, and more. “I’m also in charge of any educational and outreach involving recycling environmental compliance and I’m over division,” explained Ask.

Furthermore, that’s not the only team she manages. She's also a mother of two girls.

Credit: Caroline Ask

She encourages her daughters to go after anything they dream of doing in their future. As more Texas women take up male-dominated spaces, she hopes to change the mentality around women not being enough and embrace the idea that women always will be able to fill a man's role, no matter what job.

“They are already successful in this role, it’s not comparing ourselves to men, it's that we’re already doing it,” said Ask. "Women are capable. Women are dependable, and reliable."

She continued, "I’m not alone. We do exist. We actually have a lot of women in male-dominated fields, that are in leadership roles and I’m very proud to be apart of that.”

On International Women's Day, she wants all women to remember that they are always enough and to embrace all the complexities that make each person unique.

Follow KAGS on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Before You Leave, Check This Out