Where are they now – Emma Stevenson: a role model for women in trades

In 2013 Emma Stevenson won the WA Apprentice of the Year. As a mature aged apprentice, Emma completed Certificate III Engineering – Electrical and Certificate IV Engineering – Instrumentation working with Chevron.

Emma Stevenson 4 (credit Challenger).

“It was very surreal to be winning an award for my training pathway. I think all apprentices doubt themselves a lot throughout their training, so it was great to have such recognition,” Emma said. “It’s really great to have apprenticeships celebrated in this way as it is a hard commitment to make and is often under-valued, even though it can lead to really interesting careers.”

For Emma, the way she was seen within her industry changed dramatically following her award win and provided her with a platform to encourage other women to get into trades and the mining industry.

“Winning the award opened up many opportunities for me to be an ambassador for apprenticeships and also for females in trades. I got to speak at schools, training forums and to training councils, as well as compete in the 2013 Australian Training Awards. These opportunities pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of public speaking but it was invaluable for my professional development.”

In 2014 Emma was also awarded the CME Women in Mining ‘Outstanding Operator/Tradesperson of the Year’ and represented WA at the national Women in Mining Convention.

“I am also a volunteer with Trade Up Australia, a not-for-profit group supporting female tradespeople and encouraging young females to consider careers as tradespeople.”

Emma has now moved on from her role as an Electrical Instrumentation Technician and works as a Production Technician on the Wheatstone LNG project.

“The Wheatstone LNG Project is the largest scale project I have ever seen, it is exciting to be a part of and I wish everyone could see it. It is such a good project for WA in terms of providing jobs during construction and unique careers in resources when producing. I’m hoping it provides a pathway for apprentices and trainees for decades to come.”

Emma’s advice to young women looking at careers in mining and trades industries is to give it a go.

“Don’t be put off by the opinions of others in terms of your suitability, it takes all kinds of people to be a part of a successful team and you won’t know if you don’t try it for yourself. You will learn to adapt to challenges and often times the things that challenge you the most give you a chance to make improvements that benefit everyone.”