Twelve women from Lihir, New Ireland with three national female hires have created a pathway for other young women especially on Lihir Island and the country as a whole.
The 15 women are currently working in various trades within the Newcrest Lihir operations, a field once dominated by males.
The increased number of women taking up these trades in Lihir has indicated that women are now capable of taking up technical trades, and becoming competent.
They have also contributed to a productive working culture to improve the Lihir mining operations.
Josephine Tutum is one of these 12 Lihir women who is working as a fitter machinist with the Back-end Maintenance team.
Her career with Newcrest Lihir began in 2006 when she joined the apprenticeship program at the Lihir Technical Training Centre (LTTC). She has been with with the company for 11 years.
Another Lihirian, AnnDoreen Gaoro from Zuen village has been with the operations since 2008. She is a technician with the Information Communication Technology section of the mine’s Commercial department. She does her assignments with a high level of professionalism.
“Customer-service is important to me. I always want to make my customer happy,” said Gaoro.
Others include, Ruth Tamdar, a fitter from Mazuz village; and Pennie Salot both working with the Tanks and Tails team; Salome Papara and Catherine Kelpet both working with the Workshop team, and Fredlyn Kuten who is working with the Power and Utilities Mechanical.
These sections come under Lihir’s Fixed Plant Maintenance (FPM).
Tutum, Gaoro and Tamdar say the social and cultural challenges many women in PNG face can easily discourage them from pursuing a career in male-dominated professions.
But they said nothing is impossible with good education, self-determination, and strong family support.