Women in Power
"You should get a trade – you will always have work, make money while you learn, work anywhere in the world and you don't have to sit at a desk all day," kind advice from Ellen's mother to her brother.
Ellen's brother may not have taken on the advice, but for Ellen, a light bulb went off. "From that moment I decided I was going to learn a trade," said Ellen.
Today, Ellen is an electrician with the ACT‘s energy network provider, Evoenergy and studying an associate degree in power engineering.
"I have had so many opportunities and I want other women to know they can do this too. Evoenergy has not only supported me through my apprenticeship, work life and study, I have also had the flexibility whilst starting my own family, to support and enjoy home life equally.
"Through my apprenticeship, I was given the opportunity to also learn domestic wiring, and the feeling of accomplishment when you can rough in – cut in – and fit off an entire house is empowering! I cannot thank Evoenergy and the tradesman enough for the knowledge I have learned.
"I am naturally a shy person, so deciding to become an electrician was quite daunting when you consider women account for less than 3% of trade jobs in the ACT. I look back now and laugh, but at the time I was so worried about not knowing the name of any tool, let alone how to use them.
But Ellen quickly learned that, like many jobs, there were many misconceptions about this traditionally male role.
"By busting a few myths about being an electrician, I'm hoping more women will apply for jobs like this.
It's not about your head it's about your heart: I always found sitting in a classroom trying to learn theory hard and I struggled with math and science. I like being outdoors, working in a team and learning the hands-on way. I was worried about the maths component of this job, but found with the support, mentoring & tutoring offered I was able to excel. I am proud to say that I am now studying engineering.
It's not about being strong, it's about being smart: Being an electrician can be physically challenging sometimes. You may find yourself crawling through manholes, under houses & climbing ladders but there hasn't been a physical element to my role that I haven't been able to complete.
You'll never be a damsel in distress again: No matter the task at home, I fix things, my daughter and son come to me when a light needs changing when screws come loose or anything needing fixing. It's great that in our household it's not unusual for mum to be the handy one.
Being an electrician won't dim your ambition: Once you finish your apprenticeship and you become an electrician, it doesn't end there, you could go on to work for yourself or take on a managerial role or engineering as I have, the opportunities are endless.
This job has made me very ambitious and the best thing about working for a well-known, respected and successful business such as Evoenergy is that you will always be supported whether that's
through flexibility or learning opportunities, or, in my case both. I also hope that in the future I will be an inspiration to my own daughter.
Evoenergy is currently offering two electrical apprentice positions. To find out more about what it takes to become an electrical fitter visit: https://www.evoenergy.com.au/about-us/careers/apprenticeships