Mandan woman honored as first female railroad engineer

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Over the last couple of weeks a twitter trend has made it's way around the internet.

#ILookLikeAnEngineer is being used to challenge gender perceptions of the typically male-dominated career path.

One Mandan woman broke this stereotype forty years ago and is being honored on Sunday.

Before there were twitter trends, there were train tracks.

Connecting long distances and challenging people's ideas about male-dominated career paths.

Mona Dockter was the first female railroad engineer in the United States. She says "1975 and '76 we had an outline of what women would go into as an occupation and if you don't fit there and nowadays I think we have the freedom to choose whatever it is."

Dockter wanted to take after the family trade. "I said well I wanna go work on the railroads like dad."

She was turned away several times before finally being allowed into the engineers program. "At that time it was like 'we're not taking applications' one guy said or he shrugged his shoulders and said 'oh there isn't any woman working here. That was their mentality at the time."

It wasn't until an equal rights bill ratified in 1975 that Dockter could finally pursue her dream.

Her accomplishment received national attention.
But to her, it was just something she wanted to do. "I was probably so naive I didn't think those limitations were there to start with" said Dockter. "Be yourself but do your job. I didn't go into it thinking I was going to be treated differently because I'm a woman."

Mona Dockter will be inducted into the Railroad Hall of Fame on Sunday August 16th at 2pm at the North Dakota State Railroad Museum.

You can go to the North Dakota State Railroad Museum's website at www.ndsrm.org or to their Facebook page to get more information.
The official 'Railroad Day' will be held Sunday, August 23rd from 1-5pm.​