Female Tool Mechanic Excels in Department Dominated by Men

Cindy Mesko

Meet the only woman working in FirstEnergy’s Akron Tool Repair Shop in this video.


Growing up, Cindy Mesko’s mother taught her skills she now realizes most girls—and even boys—never learned. 

“My mom said if I was going to drive her car, I was going to have to take care of it. She took the wheels off and made me learn how to put them back on. She made me change the oil. I couldn’t believe she was serious at the time, but it made me who I am,” Mesko said.

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day in March, Mesko is proud to be the only woman working in FirstEnergy’s Akron Tool Repair Shop. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up just 4.7% of the country’s maintenance and repair workers in 2023.

She says people are often surprised to learn what she does for work.

“Their jaws drop and they tell me they never would have guessed I am a mechanic, which makes me feel good because I know I am unique,” she said.

Mesko has been behind her FirstEnergy workbench in Akron for five years, helping to repair tools that FirstEnergy line workers use in the field. To ensure the safety of the company’s field personnel, Mesko and her department also conduct routine inspections on several tools and apparatuses used by workers across the company’s six-state service territory.

“It can be messy work, and it’s not glamorous work at all, but I really enjoy it,” she said. 

After starting her career in the meter reading department in 1998, Mesko was always up for new challenges and tried a variety of jobs within the company before she landed in the Tool Repair Shop.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values of FirstEnergy, and they are reflected in women like Mesko, who celebrated her 25th anniversary of working for the company last year. She is one of 2,450 women working at FirstEnergy, which employs about 12,000 people across its service area.

Read more on FirstEnergy’s website about the recognition received for its diverse workforce.

Mesko attributes a lot of her success to her mom, who she says always pushed her to put herself out there, try new things and take opportunities. 

“My mom taught me not to hold myself back, and I want other girls and women to be encouraged to pursue their dreams because they have such great potential that they may not even be aware of right now,” she said. “FirstEnergy has always made me feel like I fit in and am a part of the team.”



Media Contact: Hannah Catlett 440-554-5346

Last Modified: March 5, 2024