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Two Female Trainees At Male Dominated Industry

Two Female  Trainees At Male Dominated Industry
Korina Katoni cutting the edges of the feed from the coil before it gets moulded in the machine at BlueScope Lysaght Limited factory on August 20, 2017. Photo: Wilona Ravato
August 25
11:35 2017

Two female trainees are at BlueScope Lysaght (Fiji) Limited at Lakeba Street, Samabula an industry that is dominated by male workers.

They are 23-year old Korina Katoni and 24-year-old, Asena Waqa and are the only two females working at the industry.

Both had graduated with a trade diploma in mechanical engineering from the Fiji National University.

The two trainees said that they had chosen this career path as a challenge for all females to try something outside the box.

“Well for us, we wanted to choose careers which were not common among the female trades; we took interest in getting our hands dirty and trying out new things out of the ordinary,” Ms Katoni said on their behalf.

“BlueScope has allowed us to practice what we have learned in school, also giving us the first-hand experience of working alongside male counterparts.
Ms Katoni said they have also recognised the equal ability of females and males in working together in a one gender dominated field.

She said that working at BlueScope allowed them to practice what they had studied in school and also allowed them to interact with male co-workers in a male dominated trade.

Their advice to young women who are passionate about joining male dominated trade was to pursue it without a second doubt.

“There will be hiccups along the way but that’s all part and puzzle of chasing your careers and achieving your goals.”

Ms Katoni said joining a work place that was dominated by males should not hinder their drive towards doing what they wanted to do in the future.

“It should only motivate you to be better.”

BlueScope Lysaght (Fiji) is a global leader in premium branded coated and painted steel products – the third largest globally; having great strengths in steel buildings in key markets, and is number one in building and construction markets.

It has been in operations since 1968 with its headquarters located at Lakeba Street Samabula.

General Manager, Chris McLoughlin, said that Lysaght business had been the world’s best roofing solution to Fiji since commencing operations in Suva 50 years ago. The Pacific Steel business he said had been the regions leader in steel reinforcing since commencing operations 40 years ago.

He said the company supported gender equality.

BlueScope National Operations Manager, Iftikar Khan said that for a male dominated steel industry, this initiative to select female trainees to work in a male dominated field encouraged gender diversity for the company.

“In mechanical engineering, we recruited two trainees, as an approach to practice diversity in the workforce” he said. He said that it was easier to attract women to sales team and finance team but getting females with engineering background was difficult.

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