Women in Towers: Makinzy Underwood

Name: Makinzy Underwood
Company currently working for: Si Net
Job name/title: Tower Technician
Length of time on the job: One year
Age: 20

How she got started: “My father has been in the industry 20 years which is coincidently how old I am,” Underwood said. “Him, along with my many uncles helped raise me to think like a ‘tower hand,’ meaning knowing how to be as tough as the guys as well as troubleshoot and problem solve like them. I grew up very interested in not only the industry but climbing itself. So when the opportunity for joining a company and crew presented itself last year, I took it.”

Biggest like or dislike: “I would say a big dislike for me would be staying on the ground to work, only because I enjoy working on the tower so much.”

How she got accepted:  “My first tower crew was very accepting after the first day of work. When our market changed and our work moved to Florida, I was put with another crew who at first didn’t seem to thrilled to be working with a female but a few days in, after getting to know my work ethic and ability to climb, our crew was just another crew. I became a sister to some pretty great climbers who I’ve learned so much from.”

Would she recommend it for other women?:  “Not exactly. I would say it definitely takes a certain kind of female. Thick skin and perseverance is a must being a female in the industry. You may be underestimated but having the drive to prove the nay-sayers wrong and doing so comes naturally if this is the job for you.”

Coolest/Most Unusual/Scariest or Profound Experience: “My first 300′ guyed tower, 250′ up, I clipped my positioning lanyard off above me to rest and when I sat back my carabiner adjusted to the cross beam of the tower and jolted down. For a moment I was terrified, we call it a ‘heart check.’  As it happened I knew I was safe by being 100 percent tied off but regardless, the 2cm adjust as I sat down, scared the air right out of me.”

July 5, 2017

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