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 the copper refinery in the anode department casting molten metal copper 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, she “never put up with crap.” Years later, after Mulroy retired, she decided to write a book about her experience using all the material she accumulated over the years. Mulroy documented everything, writing on cigarette packs, paper towels, and in diaries, collecting newspaper clippings, and more.
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.