An emerging trend in Filipino society today sees women working in traditionally male-dominated jobs. More companies are beginning to recognize women’s capabilities and potential contribution to ‘masculine’ industries such as construction and transport.
In an episode about women taking on ‘men’s jobs,’ UNTV’s documentary Istorya featured Brenda Baccay, a trained welder, and Kimberly Rose Lucente, an auto mechanic.
Brenda Baccay (video 2:28) | Kimberly Rose Lucente (video 5:37)
Brenda Baccay, 21, took a technical course on shielded metal arc welding. “Sa una lang po, nakakatakot, − It’s scary at first,” she said.
One of the challenges Baccay had to face was proving her abilities before being accepted by her male peers as a respected colleague.
” Sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Hindi ito pang babae ha. Kailangan mong maging matibay; pang lalake ‘to.’− I would tell myself ‘This is not traditionally for women. You need to stay strong; this is a man’s job. “
Kimberly Rose Lucente, 22, an automotive mechanic graduate, said that people’s curiosity with women like her is overwhelming.
“Para po sa akin kasi, napaka overwhelming kasi minsan may mga customers nagsasabi, ‘Ang ganda naman may babaeng technician na dito’…− For me it is overwhelming because there are customers who say, ‘It’s nice that there is a female technician working here now.’”
Employers and co-workers of Brenda and Kimberly Rose have observed that both women pay more attention to details; are organized and keen on cleanliness. They agree that female traits can be valuable in the workplace and can enhance productivity.
According to TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva, international employers demand for Filipino women skilled workers. Companies want certain characteristics such as hard work, commitment and quality of work which they have seen in Filipinas. He believes that TESDA’s vocational courses are giving Filipino women a chance to attain skills for the international landscape.
For Brenda, passion and courage are key factors to surviving in a man’s world. She says, women should be confident that they are fully capable of pursuing and achieving their dreams.
Kimberly encourages women to grab the opportunity to learn new things and to not let preconceived notions about gender roles stop them from realizing their passion.
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