Building independence: New take on female power

Memoir explores historic engineering project, women's empowerment era.

January 12, 2012 |

What is the root of a woman's independence? A new book is exploring the concept against the backdrop of one woman's role in a historic engineering project.

In Pipe Dream: An Alaskan Adventure, Deborah Brownlow brings readers along on a modern day "gold rush" as she provides an insightful and often humorous look into her role in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System construction project in the 1970s. Not content with living a comfortable life in suburban Michigan, Brownlow recounts her quest for unknown horizons, unimagined experiences and her journey to find herself among a world of men.

"My book and I are one in the same," says Brownlow. "I have been given many opportunities to travel in my life, and fortunately have been able to fulfill my dreams of living the life of an explorer or pioneer."

Touching on discrimination issues and the rise of empowered women seeking equal pay, the book explores Alaska as the last frontier and overall humanity. Brownlow revisits her part in forging a path through unchartered land, in reference to both the geographic climate and her own work climate dominated by men.

Additionally, Pipe Dream provides insight into the challenging engineering project, complicated by extreme cold and isolated terrain.

"It was always my dream to become a part of history," says Brownlow. "In working on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline project, I found my opportunity to do so. Now, my strength lies in my sense of independence. I know I have the ability to accomplish anything thrown my direction, and I want to be a source of encouragement for other women."

For more information, visit BD+C

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