Peta proves there are no barriers
When Peta Gordon worked in banking 10 years ago, she never thought she would be breaking barriers at the Port of Mackay.
Now in her role as North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) Operations and Security Officer, Peta can be seen doing anything from berthing a 230-metre-long ship, making sure the Port is safe and secure to monitoring the CCTV and gates.
She admits it’s a job that surprises people, but this International Women’s Day (IWD) Peta says not to let that be a barrier if it’s what you want to do.
A cultural shift in recent years has led to more and more women taking up work in industries once reserved for men.
“There are a lot of women that are now working in predominately male industries, but it is usually the older generations that don’t believe we should be there,” she said.
“They think this way because 20 to 30 years ago women didn’t go to work and jobs for them were virtually non-existent. Their role was to stay home and raise the family.
“Now we have stay at home dads and more women in the workforce. They aren’t just in your admin roles too but also in managerial and industrial and trade positions, which is so good to see.”
Peta says there’s never a dull day in her job and thanks her colleagues for being very cooperative and respectful of her role in the industry.
“You do get some people that think that they should be talking to a male because they think they would know more, she said.
“But if you stand your ground and have the backing of your peers then you have no worries.
“The industry is learning that women are just as capable as men.”
Speaking on this year’s IWD theme, Peta firmly believes society is well on its way to breaking the bias in workplaces. She encourages other women to do what makes them happy.
“If that means getting your hands dirty and fighting for what you believe is right, then so be it,” she said.
“If a woman has the best credentials and is the better candidate for the job, then give her a go you might just be surprised at what she brings to the workforce.”