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We Are Union Journal
News from the working class
What do you mean, 'Closing the Loopholes'?

Women Onsite: the chippy with a PhD

"Women Onsite has changed my life. I was finishing off a PhD in social work. I worked with people with disabilities before that, worked with kids prior but initially did a degree in forest science and worked in forest fire management. I've done quite a few things.

I was very nervous and apprehensive before I started my pre-app. I think if I was younger and less sure of myself, it would have stopped me, but given my age and where I am in my life, I thought - it doesn't matter, just push on. Even entering into the job, I thought there might be some workplace discrimination and so forth, but the company I’m with have been just fantastic and supportive.

At TAFE, we had four teachers in the end. One said - you've done all these different things, no one is going to give you a job. It felt good to tell this particular teacher when I got the job! He couldn't believe it. I don't know what his problem was.

Women Onsite was a game changer for me. It's been 3-4 years for me thinking about getting into carpentry, but it didn't propel me to enrol until I saw Women Onsite. I felt so supported, like I wasn't on my own. That made a huge difference.

Some of my friends saw that my practical side and creative side would marry each other and that I would really enjoy it. Others, well to be honest, there were a couple who basically thought - Fantastic, can you do our deck? Can you build us cabinets immediately?!

Why carpentry? This is the first job that I actually love, I actually love this job. If I didn't push myself through those anxieties and barriers, it would've been just something that I wanted - but didn't do. If you think in your mind that it might be a possibility, give it a go."

- Hoang, 1st year carpentry apprentice

If, like Hoang, you're a woman interested in pursuing an apprenticeship or traineeship, check out Trades Hall's Women on Site project.