Women’s History Month: DC 37 Women Break Barriers in Non-Traditional Jobs


Women are shattering glass ceilings in all fields, proving they can do jobs that were previously only offered to men.

In politics, Kamala Harris is the first female Vice President of the United States. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James are the first women to serve in their respective roles, but certainly won’t be the last. The New York City Council added a historic number of women to its ranks for the City’s first-ever majority female Council with Speaker Adrienne Adams as its helm.

For decades, Lillian Roberts helped organize New York City municipal workers into DC 37 and served as the union’s executive director from 2002 to 2014. DC 37 currently has the Lillian Roberts Women’s Leadership Academy that trains future labor leaders. The union has more women serving as local presidents, executive board members, and managers than ever, including Associate Directors Jahmila Edwards and Rose Miller in two of the top positions.

In March, Women’s History Month, DC 37 celebrates women in nontraditional jobs, and features four members who have broken barriers at work. Their stories tell the paths they cut and invite future generations of women to join the expanded choice of career opportunities in public service.

NYPD Highway Traffic
Enforcement, TEA IV, Local 983

“As Traffic Enforcement Agent Level IV for the NYPD, I patrol New York City highways. June will make 21 years at NYPD. I’ve spent 13 years in my current title.

“My supervisor assigns men and women work fairly. Every day I get a different highway assignment. I look for motorists stranded in a traffic lane or on a shoulder and I help them.

“I work alone in an NYPD help truck. Sometimes I respond to car accidents; some are minor, some are fatal. I show up, find the problem, and get them off the highway safety. I put down safety flares to keep the driver and me safe.

“Sometimes I have to jump dead batteries, or motorists run out of gas and I provide fuel. I change flat tires or provide water when a radiator overheats. If the vehicle is not drivable, I use my help truck to push them to the safe zone on the shoulder. If I can’t fix the problem, I call for an authorized tow.

“At times, I may have to educate motorists who may be unaware that their insurance may provide roadside towing and can reimburse them for it. Only authorized tows are allowed on highways.

“Other times there may be medical emergencies that arise. I once had an experience with a motorist who was swerving and I had him pull over. When I reached him, he passed out. I called EMS and they came immediately. They said he was going into a diabetic coma; they saved his life.

“The motorists I help on the highway often call me their guardian angel. My work with the NYPD Highway Emergency Local Patrol Unit is very rewarding. It makes me feel good to know that I’ve helped motorists

when they’ve needed it the most. “Knowing I belong to a union, I have job security with a steady income that puts food on the table and provides benefits. And my union stands behind me 100%.”

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