A group of enthusiastic young women experienced a look behind the scenes of power generation at the Clyde dam recently, New Zealand’s largest concrete gravity dam.
The open day was hosted by Contact Energy as part of Girls with Hi-Vis month – an initiative by Connexis to help attract more women into trade and technical roles.
More than 30 women had a chance to experience a working day in the industry hosted by Contact Power’s Jen McLean who is an electrical Generation Technician at the dam, she is part of a team that ensures the ‘turbines keep spinning and the plant running’. Jen started her career at 18 as an electrician and has progressed through the industry over the years.
“I love my work for the variety it offers, the challenges I face in problem solving and trouble shooting, the safety of the industry, and the constant learning that takes place in a technical environment. There are so many people around that support my learning and help me to grow – I call this place the “University of Hydro”, it’s basically a dream job for me,” she says.
Jen says it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm amongst the group during the open day and feedback included: “Great day – helped heaps, learnt heaps and gave me ideas about careers”. “Today has been a really positive experience – everyone we have met at Contact has been so approachable and willing to share their passion with these young women.” “It was an awesome opportunity.”
The open day was one of a series to be held throughout the country in June as part of ‘Girls with Hi-Vis’ month. Employees in the power, roading, water and telecommunications industries invited sisters, daughters, friends, cousins and wives to work for a day in a bid to attract more women to work in the industry. The idea is to show women what jobs are on offer and if they’re interested, encourage them to embark on a career in the industry.
Connexis CEO Helmut Modlik says, “It’s fantastic to such a great turn out at the Contact Energy open day and hopefully it will attract more women to apply for jobs in the industry. Is an exciting career for women with lots of potential.”