Until Vicki Davidson retired a few years ago, she was a National Board Commissioned inspector for the Dow Chemical Company, at their Pittsburg, CA plant, east of the Bay Area.
Instructor/Student Profile: Vicki Davidson, OSHA Student & Outreach Trainer
As one of the first women ever hired by Dow, she spent nearly 30 years with the huge manufacturing company, an experience she values immensely.
Starting as a chemical operator and shift worker, she rose through the ranks to be a safety officer.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better career,” she said. “It was hard work, but it allowed me to provide a good life for myself and my family and to ultimately retire at an early age.”
Davidson, who lives in Tuolumne County near Yosemite, has taken eight UC San Diego OSHA Training Institute Education Center courses. Plus, given her professional background, she also serves as an OSHA outreach trainer.
“I always love sharing my manufacturing experiences,” she said. “The younger students always get a kick out of my stories about the ‘old’ days.”
Life was far different back then for women entering the workplace, especially at tradition-bound companies.
“Breaking that barrier (against women employees) was tough,” said Davidson. “It was strictly a man’s world back then. They definitely didn’t want us there. There weren’t even women’s bathroom facilities.”
A former volunteer firefighter, she now serves as a volunteer safety and loss prevention officer with the local Habitat for Humanity office.
“Wherever I’ve been,” she added, “I’ve always loved helping to raise the level of awareness about safety and health.”