Most of the towers Ramos and her crew have worked on range from 250 feet to 350 feet, although her highest and most memorable climb took her to the top of a 492-foot tower in Oklahoma.
“The views were just absolutely amazing,” said Ramos, who noted her phone is full of photos she’s taken from the tops of towers. “It was a challenging climb for me, but once I got up there, it was exhilarating. I’m fascinated by how beautiful it is, and not everybody gets the opportunity to see the things we get to see. Sometimes you just have to sit back in your harness and take a look.”
Although DISH now employs three female tower climbers, Ramos said she has never run into another woman on a tower site. She has found that while some of the men she has worked with will later admit they were initially skeptical about her ability to climb towers, she generally feels like she is treated like one of the guys.
“I don’t think that I have to prove anything to anybody,” said Ramos, whose title is Wireless Tower Technician. “Just the fact that I’m standing here on site with them after the extensive training DISH put us through should be a clear indication that I’m able to do this job. Generally, when we are ready to climb, I suit up and I don’t shy away from it, and I think that right there tells the guys on site, ‘Hey she’s OK.’ I haven’t had any issues with any of the guys out on sites treating me any differently. If anything, they come up and shake my hand and tell me that I’m a badass because they don’t ever see women in this field.”
Now a year into her job as a tower climber, Ramos says she’s glad she took the chance.
“To me, it’s an elite job,” said Ramos. “You see cellphone towers everywhere, but people don’t realize — I didn’t realize — there are people on them. Now when I look at towers, I look to see if I can see anybody hanging off of them.”
“It’s definitely a very challenging but rewarding job, and anybody in the field — man or woman — should be proud that they can actually do it.”