Seamstress to scientist: New Mexican’s story inspires women to pursue STEM careers

Courtesy: Randy Montoya

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – She has gone from seamstress to award-winning scientist.

A local woman thriving in what’s typically a male-dominated field wants to inspire other women to do the same.

Pierrette Gorman started her career in New York as a seamstress.

“My grandmother was also a seamstress in the same town, and so I already had a reputation built for myself before I started work,” Gorman said.

However, since then, Gorman has traded sewing for science.

After starting a family and raising her kids, Gorman went back to school.

Now, she works at Sandia National Laboratories as a welding engineer, something she said was not available to her earlier in life.

“I basically became a seamstress because my math skills were excellent and in high school, I wasn’t even allowed to take mechanical drawing because only the boys got to take it,” Gorman said.

Gorman said she has been at Sandia for nearly 14 years.

This week, she accepted the STEP Ahead award for women in manufacturing from the Manufacturing Institute.

“I was surprised and really pleased to represent women in science,” Gorman said.

She said, while men still dominate her field, things are starting to change, and she is encouraging more women to be part of that change.

“You can change your life the way I did,” Gorman said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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