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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 ::

    Roughneck, Bruised Head | A tale of women, toughness and safety in Alberta's gas fields - by TIM MCSORLEY, The Dominion
    “We never refuse to hire someone if they are a woman–we’re an equal opportunity employer,” says Stephen Menchuk, who hired Desharnais and is familiar with her case. “We have so many positions to fill, sometimes we even hire 50, 60-year-old men. They don’t necessarily work out in the field, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done at the base-camp that isn’t as physically demanding.”

    Interviewed at the end of June, Desharnais was at work by the beginning of July, flown out to the base-camp in Grand Cache, Alberta, where the company, which specialises in geological exploration, was checking the area for natural gas deposits. She was one of only two women on the crew, and says she felt it right away. Beyond what she saw as a culture of “only the tough survive,” the fact she is a woman seemed to make it all that more thrilling for others to see her fail.

    “As people get off the bus, you can tell they’re judging how long they’ll last. Once you’re there for a while, you start to hear the comments too. It’s especially hard for women.”
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