This May 2015, photo supplied from Vector, shows a sign for staff working on power lines in Auckland, New Zealand. Seven-year-old Zoe Carew knew it wasn't right when she saw people working on power lines near the road and a warning sign that read "LINEMEN." Carew wrote a letter to the New Zealand Transport Agency after she had talked about the sign with her dad and wondered why it said "men" when women can also work on the power lines. (Vector/New Zealand Herald via AP)
7-year-old in New Zealand gets sexist road signs changed
Associated Press / 06:01 PM August 01, 2018
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Seven-year-old Zoe Carew knew it wasn’t right when she saw people working on power lines near the road and a warning sign that read “LINEMEN.”
Her dad was driving Zoe and her brother to their grandparents’ place in a suburb near Wellington at the time, Zoe explained in a June email to the head of the New Zealand Transport Agency.
She wrote that she talked about the sign with her dad and wondered why it said “men” when women can also work on the power lines.
“I think that this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you agree?” Zoe wrote. “Can you please change the sign to say “LINE-WORKERS” instead, or something else correct and fair like that.”
It turns out that agency chief executive Fergus Gammie did agree with Zoe’s concerns.
“I commend you for your suggestion and for taking action where you think something unfair should be fixed,” Gammie wrote back. “Well done.”
He said Zoe’s suggested wording would require larger signs but that “LINE CREW” would fit on signs of the same size.
Gammie said the change would be included in the agency’s specification approvals soon. New signs will be phased in as old ones are retired due to wear and tear.
Zoe’s mum Caitlin Carew published the email exchange on Twitter this week: “So proud of my 7yo,” she wrote, adding “High 5s all round!”
So proud of my 7yo. She recently wrote to the NZTA CE asking that they replace the 'Lineman' sign with something more "correct and fair" bc "women can be line-workers too". The CE agreed and now NZTA is developing a new Line Crew sign. High 5s all round! 😍 pic.twitter.com/lam5tciZ2u