Posted by: davidhayden | September 14, 2011

The Women of CNC

I am working on a new article and am looking for success stories about the success of women  as CNC machinists, operators, programmers, supervisors.

If you have a good story or comments on the subject, comment on this post- I will review for content and if applicable use anecdotally within the article.

Suitable posts will be approved for posting on this blog “as is.”

Of interest are things like:

  1. How did you get into the trade
  2. do you like it
  3. Do you feel your pay and treatment are consistent with male colleagues
  4. would you recommend the trade to other women
  5. what were your barriers to entering the business of CNC
  6. what training do you feel women should seek to succeed
  7. success stories (what did you overcome, achieve, etc)


  1. Hello David…have you written this article? If not we could help..

    • Carol,
      I have not written the article. You are the first to respond. I would love to hear your comments.

  2. where do you want me to enter my story. I’ve been a manual machinist for 32 yrs just in the last 3 yrs the company I work for finially got a CNC and I’ve been teaching my self to program and run it. I’ve had a little help from the 3 day class they send me to at Hass and the guy that was programming and setting up our machine gave me alot of help but I do on my own now.

    • Thanks for the response. I will send you an email with instructions for submitting your story. It is more private that way because I won’t publish any details without your permission.

  3. I’m a 21-year-old mechanical engineering student in South Florida and I work with lathes and CNC mills at my job. It’s only been a few months but I’ve really fallen in love with it.

    • Ximena, I have a good friend who was one of the first women, if not the first woman to work production in a steel mill. It was tough work and a lot to overcome. She advanced over the years and is now a consultant for manufacturing, mining and other industries in PA. She loves manufacturing and has been a great supporter promoter of women in industrial careers.

      Good luck.

  4. I don’t know this women personally. She is a neighbor of one of the guys in the class I’m taking. She is a widow and took the introductory and advanced CNC machining course at Lone Star College here in Houston. He said she barely knew which end of a screwdriver to hold going in. She graduated and her life has changed. She’s a machinist making good money and working 72 hrs/week.

    • Where did ur friend find a job most shops won’t give women a chance!

  5. I am HR VP for a CNC machine shop. I’ve never had a female apply for a CNC job but if you come across any in the Chicago area, I’d love for us to break that barrier!

  6. I know I’m late (understatement) to stumble across this but I’ve been working at a company for 5 years now and was placed in the machining department 2 years ago. I can operate cnc lathes and mills (all haas) and do set-ups and just recently started programming. If you have already written your article I’d love to read it, if not maybe I could share with you my experiences in the field.

    • Jen,
      I appreciate your response. I would be interested in your story. As it is you are the first to respond so I have not yet written the article.

      What I am looking for is your thoughts on the following (all or any these are just to get you thinking):

    • What drew you to CNC Machine work?
    • What was your background prior (basically what is your story)
    • How easy or difficult was it to get started?
    • Would you recommend the career path to other women? Why/Why Not?
    • How would you advise other women that want to enter the CNC world
    • Also let me know if there are parts of your story you don’t want printed (name, company name, age etc.) I will let you review the article before I publish it. And after we get the story going, If you want I will send you copies of my CNC books if you want/need them.

By: davidhayden on October 3, 2014
at 8:19 am


  • Hi my name is Danna. I have been a cnc machinist for 10 years also 5 years tool making and fixtures. I can operate too many machines to list and in the wood industry and metal industry. I remolded my home and can practically fix or make anything. I am aquarius we like to work with our hands. I have many other “hobbies and jobs”. I got into this field frankly because i am a true believer in a woman can do anything a man can do. There is no weaker sex just weaker people. I encourage students to get into this field because if you learn to make and fix anything you will always be secure and confident in who you are. Its tough no lie, machine shop is in no way a place for a sensitive person or those who cant get their hands dirty. Your hands back and everything will be sore but if you are tough and hang in there its really a rewarding career.

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