WOMEN’S WORK: Be whatever you want growing up

I was a lucky kid. I was raised with the conviction that with effort, I could be whatever I want. No difference between girls and boys, between black or white, between clever or hardworking.

Not every little girl and boy has the same opportunities and environment as I had, so, we, parents, have the obligation and the duty to teach them about equality and endeavor.

Chris Crisman’s photography project: WOMEN’S WORK could be the perfect support material in this difficult and important task.

Chris Crisman is a commercial photographer specialising in environmental portraiture.

WOMEN’S WORK was a non-commissioned projects that started when he came across Heather Marold Thomason, the Head Butcher at Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia. She shifted her career as web designer to be a new force in the sustainable food movement.

Crisman was interested by women featuring jobs that are typically masculine. She started with Heather and little by little he discovered more and more women doing “non expected” jobs.

I am a father of two – a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl.

I was raised to believe that I could do whatever I wanted to when I grew up. I want pass down a similar message to my children and without caveats.

I want to raise my children knowing that their dreams have no limits and that they have parents supporting them to dive into anything they feel passionate about. 


Besides Heather the butcher, Crismann has photographed Leeann the Haul truck driver, Sadie the fisherman (or fisherwoman),  Nancy the pig farmer, Jordan the mill operator , Mindy the firefighter, Beth the taxidermist, Christina the Brewer and Operations manager, Alison the property developer, Mira the designer and woodworker, Judy the process operator, Carol the Leach Pad Operator and Kris the Senior geologist in a Gold Mine.

Crismann is still working on the project but he made it public during last election campaign, hoping that his project would provide a hopeful message as everybody move forward. His message with his work is that

Gender should not determine professional opportunities.

In the world I live, I can see improvement in the women’s situation, but I know it is not the same everywhere.

I work for a company where women carry out professions that were men’s sector only 50 years ago: managers, engineers, geologists, operators. All of them have arrived where they are with effort and perseverance and, like me, they have encountered people with another view on equality of gender: teachers, colleagues, managers and even people near them: “friends” and family, that thought that they were not able or that the path that they have chosen was not for “proper” girls.

So we need to keep working. Starting from our daily life at home. Showing children values, attitudes and behaviors that support what we try to teach them:

that everybody has the same rights, duties and opportunities.

Teaching and practicing respect (to others, but also to ourselves) and supporting them while they grow, making sure they understand that with effort and perseverance, they can be whatever they want.

I am sure of that because my parents teach me so and parents know best, don’t they?