Australia’s Proudest Woman in Trades

To celebrate International Woman’s Day 2020, eve workwear held a competition to find Australia’s proudest woman in trades, and our eve sisters did not disappoint!

We met women from all around the country in trades, from carpenters, to electricians, from landscapers to a neon glass bender, and everything in between. All of the entries were from driven, passionate and inspiring women, and from there we narrowed it down to our five finalists. Let us introduce you to them…

Jillian – Apprentice Plant Mechanic

Like many school leavers, Jillian felt the pressure to go to university, where she started a law degree. Part way through, she took a 12-month break to take stock and decide what she wanted to do. That decision was that university was not for her.

Two years on, Jillian is working on heavy machinery and, despite little support when she started, does not regret the career change! Plus, she is the only women in her workshop, so is making strong strides for women in the industry.

“I’m proud to say that I had to push myself to make it here and will continue to push myself every day to be a better tradesperson. Mostly I’m proud of every girl and woman who has pushed themselves to achieve what they want,” Jillian says.

Instagram: @jilliannikic

Eleni – Mechanic and Workshop Coordinator

Since 2007, Eleni and her company, Galmatic, have taught Car Maintenance Workshops to over 100,000 high school students.

Her workshops grant teenagers essential life skills that they will carry with them throughout their life, as well as enabling and encouraging them to be become safer drivers.

In recognition of her amazing achievements, Eleni was a state finalist for the 2020 Telstra Business Woman’s Awards. There were over 22,000 nominations so this is no small feat! Her passion for supporting other women and showing the younger generation what is possible is why she was one of our finalists!

Instagram: @galmatic

Madi – Maintenance Fitter and Welder

Madi fell into office work but knew that this was not the path for her – the dream was to become a rolling stock fitter.

For years, career avenues did not support her and her passion. She was often overlooked as a woman in a heavily male-dominated industry. Madi was often pushed aside but this did not diminish her drive!

She studied hard and taught herself skills on the job. By showing that she was eager to learn, Madi eventually landed a great job, became a mum and is now pursuing passion projects on the side.

“I know that I am a competent tradeswoman and I am determined to always make the most of my own situation,” Madi says.

 Instagram: @thatweldingchick

Emma-Kate – Neon Glass Bender

Emma-Kate works as a neon glass bender and is an incredible artist! As one of the only commercial female neon benders in the country, she knows a thing or two about proving yourself in a male-dominated industry.

Emma-Kate became fascinated by the work eight years ago and undertook self-driven study and pursued every lead of anyone that would teach her the craft. She now has an extensive skill set, including design, craftsmanship, chemistry, electrical knowledge, installation and fabrication.

As well as working commercially, Emma-Kate now creates her own pieces that have been show in the US!

Instagram: @neon.hart

And our winner

Lou – Electrical Apprentice

Lou has worked tirelessly to achieve her goals and make it in her dream profession! At 35, she took a leap of faith and became a mature apprentice. It was a daunting change, but one absolutely worth doing.

She was the first woman to be hired by her company and was told at the time that it was a “gamble” to hire a woman! There are now four women at the company absolutely crushing it.

Lou is a mother of three young girls and one of her greatest joys is showing them that whatever they dream, they can achieve. They love telling everyone that their mum is an electrician!

“I often get told that my face lights up when I’m asked about my job,” says Lou.

Instagram: @life_done_by_sparkylou

This competition has been an amazing way to showcase the achievements of woman in trades paving the way for future generations. We can’t wait to do it all again next year and meet even more proud tradies!