Mar 27, 2018

A PPL memory book: women at work through generations

During Women’s History Month, PPL celebrates all the women who have sustained PPL’s business through the decades

March is Women’s History Month and before it becomes history, we would be remiss in not paying homage to the vital role women have played in sustaining PPL’s business through the decades. Take a look through our memory book, recognizing some of the women of PPL who blazed new trails, shattered expectations and boldly stepped into new roles. Today and every day, we celebrate all of the women past and present who have contributed to the forward progress of PPL.

From left to right: Women pictured alongside male co-workers at PPL in Shenandoah Pa. Female clerk at work in a payment center in Williamsport Pa. PPL Economist Elizabeth Noack in her vehicle

A turning point for women

The roaring 20s were a turning point for women. The 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920, granting women the right to vote and, essentially, all of the same rights of citizenship as men. During this decade, women’s ranks in the workforce also increased by 25 percent.  In the photo on the left, taken in Shenandoah, Pa., progress can be noted as women are pictured alongside male co-workers at Pennsylvania Power and Light Company’s office on East Lloyd Street.

An honest day’s work

When customers needed to pay their bills, it wasn’t just a mouse click away. Bill payment centers, like this one in Williamsport, Pa., were available for local customers to pay their bills conveniently. PPL workers staffed the centers to provide courteous and helpful customer service.

Habit of service saves lives

A 1963 report by the Commission on the Status of Women, formed by President John F. Kennedy, shone a light on workplace inequality for women and was one of the stepping stones to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. PPL Home Economist Elizabeth Noack, was one of those women helping to make a difference at work and in her community. In an October 1964 edition of PP&L’s employee magazine, The Reporter, Noack recounts how she assisted a man having a heart attack at the scene of a car crash. Her efforts were not only out of the ordinary for the time, but helped save his life.

From left to right: Helen Toth reading a meter. Sharon Taylor, using power hack saw. Stephanie Moraney, an underground data recorder.

A decade of firsts

The 1970s ushered in a new round of firsts at PPL. Take Helen Toth, the company’s first female meter reader, who chose her position because she liked the variety. Sharon Taylor, the first female to join an electrical construction crew, had no problem swinging a sledgehammer, cutting steel with a power saw or operating a forklift truck.

As a clerk in Harrisburg, Stephanie Moraney, didn’t just write work orders, she went underground in the vaults and manholes to check the physical facilities, record data and make drawings.

These strong women, and the many since them, have made a lasting impact. Today, the women at PPL include board members, executives, vice presidents, engineers, line workers, computer programmers and more.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we are grateful to the women who have paved the way and for those who are leading the charge today.