From PGE to the U.S. Capitol, Shae Davies encourages others to pursue work in skilled trades

May 06, 2024

Shae Davies is a skilled mechanic by trade and the current Fleet Manager at Portland General Electric. Recently, a single snapshot into Davies’ journey as a mechanic was put on display at an exhibit in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., Davies is now sharing her experience as a Black woman in the trades, hoping to inspire and encourage others to consider jobs in these fields.

Davies' started with PGE in 2021 after a recruiter reached out on LinkedIn. However, her experience in the automotive industry stretches back nearly three decades. Davies made the decision to become a mechanic after just one year at a four-year college, leaving to pursue a more hands-on career.

"College was the expectation after high school, and I never bothered to question it, even though my heart wasn’t in that path," said Davies. "I appreciated the great life my dad provided for his family as a carpenter, so I decided to give a job in the trades a try."

Like many women in the trades, particularly those associated with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Davies faced numerous challenges, including gender stereotypes, lack of representation and barriers to career advancement. A report published in 2022 by the U.S. Department of Labor PGE reveals that only 4% of all tradespeople are women, while 96% are men. Despite these odds, Davies' hard work and perseverance led to significant success in her career, providing her with opportunities to break barriers for other historically underrepresented groups.

"I have paid my dues," expressed Davies. "I’ve been to trade schools, completed an apprenticeship, worked in the field, earned certifications in fleet management, obtained a business degree, and I'm really good at my job. Despite this truth, it's still impossible for people to disguise it when they assume my successes, progress, and accomplishments are just a DEI win."

For Davies, while some may attempt to diminish her success by attributing it solely to diversity initiatives, she is proud of her achievements and longstanding career. She believes it's also a testament to the progress made in an industry that has been historically predominantly-male.

“Working for a woman of color who’s been a mechanic for more than 20 years and rose to become one of the most respected Fleet Managers in the Pacific Northwest proves that despite the odds, we belong here,” said Noura Bermudez, PGE principal fleet operations analyst. “Highlighting success stories like this and preparing our youth with the right skills and mindset from a young age would bring more into the trades.”

Additionally, Davies’ story underscores the importance and career potential for non-traditional STEM-related workers like mechanics, HVAC technicians, and electricians.

“I want people, especially the youth, to know that not every path to college or higher education is linear and that there are other career paths out there," expressed Davies. “We need to foster growth within these industries and that means we need more young people, especially those with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, to join the trades and PGE."

PGE offers a variety of workforce development opportunities, including internships for underserved youth, through its Project Zero program PGE. These initiatives aim to provide equitable and inclusive career options, especially for underrepresented populations in the energy workforce. For more information about these opportunities, visit:

About Portland General Electric
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is an integrated energy company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity to over 930,000 customers serving an area of 1.9 million Oregonians. For more than 130 years, Portland General Electric (PGE) has powered social progress, delivering safe, affordable, reliable and increasingly clean electricity while working to transform energy systems to meet evolving customer needs. PGE customers have set the standard for prioritizing clean energy with the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the country. PGE is committed to reducing emissions from its retail power supply by 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. PGE is recognized by the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the company’s commitment to creating a more equal, inclusive workplace. In 2023, PGE employees, retirees and the PGE Foundation donated nearly $4.6 million and volunteered over 23,000 volunteer hours to more than 400 nonprofit organizations. For information, visit PGE.

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PGE Communications Team