Careers & Training

Girl power at PACCAR Parts

In the lead up to International Women’s Day, PACCAR Parts is encouraging more women to consider a career in this dynamic and rewarding field.

“Just jump straight into it, don’t hesitate.” That’s the advice of Caitlin Boyle, a 17-year-old apprentice technician at CJD Equipment – a PACCAR dealer in Albany, WA – when asked what advice she’d give women considering a career in the industry.

Boyle is one of the new cohort of women enjoying the newfound diversity in an industry long the domain of men.

“Everyone I’ve worked with has been very accepting. They’ve sort of put me under their wing and helped as much as they can. Mates outside work think I’m crazy. Most of them are beauticians, so we’re completely different. But they still reckon it’s awesome.”

Hayley Defina of Hicks Contracting in Somerton, Victoria.

Bec O’Donohoe, the truck service administrator at Barry Maney Group in Mount Gambier, also enjoys her work and the diversity of the knowledge required.

“There’s always something to learn; different trucks have different problems. I used to work with other truck makes, and now I’ve come to Kenworth and DAF. It’s the same principles but very different engines, different trucks,” she said.

Victorian truck driver Hayley Defina, 59, is a veteran of the industry, having first obtained her truck licence and started driving when she was 24. She remembers having to talk a company into giving her a job some two decades ago, “When I came off interstate in my early thirties, I tried to get a job with one company. They were advertising for drivers and I wanted to come off interstate and do local. I had to practically talk them into hiring me. Now that same company is advertising for women drivers and putting up traineeships for women drivers.”

Kerrie Ingram, director of Ingram Transport in Central Queensland, is another who is full of encouragement for women considering a career in transport.

“We can do it, there’s no holding us back,” Ingram said.

“Here in Central Queensland, we’re big in the mining industry. And people prefer women. We get the job done. We look after our gear.”

It’s these and the many other women like them working in the Australian transport industry that PACCAR Parts is proud to be celebrating as part of International Women’s Day on March 8.

With its theme of ‘Embrace Equity’ the initiative marks the positive changes occurring here and abroad, where greater inclusion and sense of belonging for women in traditionally male-dominated industries is helping drive business success.

Tricia Carter, a driver with Victoria’s Carter Transport, says females no longer need to be daunted by a career in the transport business.

“Things now are reasonably easy to do. You’ve got all your lift ramps, so you don’t have to be that big strong, tough, manly man to do a lot of jobs anymore,” Carter said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by 17-year-old Bella Cree, an apprentice technician at CJD Equipment in Hobart, Tasmania.

“I’d say just give it a shot, you either like it or you don’t. And if you do, it’s a great place to work. There’s plenty of opportunities in this business.”

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