INCO trailblazer and champion of women's rights tells her story in new memoir: My View from the Blackened Rocks, self-published by Cathy Mulroy through Tellwell Talent Inc., was launched in Sudbury at the Steelworkers Hall in October.

AuthorRomaniuk, Colleen

Cathy Mulroy has always understood that well-behaved women seldom make history.

In 1974, after becoming one of the first women hired in a non-traditional role at INCO since the Second World War, the Sudbury native, who stood at 5 feet, 1 inch and weighed 105 pounds, was quickly labelled a troublemaker.

As a 19-year-old mother stuck in a toxic marriage, Mulroy signed up to work in anode casting with the hope of earning enough to become financially independent.

She was often found guilty for the crime of sticking up for herself, and in Mulroy's own words, for never putting up with crap.

Years later, after she retired, she decided to write a book about her experience.

Mulroy's memoir, My View from the Blackened Rocks, was self-published by Tellwell Talent Inc. this year. The book launch was held on Oct. 6 at the Steelworkers Hall in Sudbury.

The memoir details her view as a young woman working in a male-dominated field.

While some of the stories she shares humorously emphasize Mulroy's grit and perseverance, they are also stark reminders of the struggles women faced in the past.

She was a regular target of threats and abuse, and she often had people showing up to her house in the middle of the night and leaving electrical staples in her driveway.

But no matter how bad things got, they just couldn't keep her down.

One night while working the graveyard shift, she and the male workers were stuck in the break room waiting for the furnace to warm up.

It was 3 o'clock in the morning and they were told that the furnace wouldn't be ready until 6.

"People were kind of getting antsy," said Mulroy. "We had to sit there for three hours, 40 men and me in a room. So here comes a guy with a crowbar and he pries the door of a locker open."

The locker belonged to someone from day shift. He pulled out a stack of Hustler magazines filled with pornographic images of women.

Mulroy approached the foreman to tell him that this was making her feel uncomfortable.

But this was another time--she was told that this was company culture and if she didn't like it she could go work somewhere else.

After the workers realized she had talked to the foreman, things got worse. They started to plaster the pictures all over the walls in the break room.

A few days later, Mulroy visited a bookstore and made a discovery of her own.

"There on the floor were a pile of these magazines," she said.

"When I started thumbing through them, I realized they were all pictures of men. At the...

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