NATION

Iva: Bright Spark For Women Among Men

Becoming a welder was something Iva Mapili never considered when she was younger. However, today, the 28-year trailblazer serves as Blue Gas’ first female welder and one of the company’s
26 Feb 2015 09:10
Iva: Bright Spark For Women Among Men
Iva Mapili (standing 5th from left), with workmates at the Blue Gas workshop in Wailada, Lami yesterday. Photo: Maika Tauribau

Becoming a welder was something Iva Mapili never considered when she was younger.

However, today, the 28-year trailblazer serves as Blue Gas’ first female welder and one of the company’s eight technical staff.

The Lau native was hard at work when the Fiji Sun caught up with her at Blue Gas’ industrial site at the Wailada Industrial Subdivision,  Lami yesterday.

“When I was in Form Six I didn’t reach the minimum mark requirement to get into teaching school so I tried out other courses but decided to make welding my career,” Ms Mapili said.

The mother of three said a valuable piece of advice from a training adviser at the Fiji National University directed her into welding.

“I received a good advice from my training officer that this was a very broad field with a lot of job opportunities,” Ms Mapili said.

She said she has found the job interesting since learning about it at school and even more interesting when joining Blue Gas in December last year.

“I’ve learned a lot of things despite it being a male-dominated trade, I love it,” Ms Mapili said.

She said she also enjoyed working with her male colleagues.

She said joining Blue Gas had opened up windows of opportunities for her.

“When the company came up with bio-diesel, the engineer from India in charge encouraged me and thought it would be a chance for me to upgrade my skills and I’ve learned a lot from that as well,” Ms Mapili said.

A branch manager of Blue Gas, James Lee said Ms Mapili’s skills now ranged from welding, fabrication, installation to servicing.

Blue Gas’s chief executive officer, Ajay Punja, said the company provided equal opportunity for both men and women.

“She’s a qualified welder and a neat one too. We have been pleased with what she has been doing during her months of attachment and decided to take her on,” Mr Punja said.

Ms Mapili reiterated to women that nothing was impossible in this world.

“Women can do anything and it doesn’t have to restrict to women-dominated jobs only. Always aim for higher things and don’t be a quitter,” Ms Mapili said.

Feedback:ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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