There is a perception that the transport industry is heavily male-dominated, and in previous years this wasn’t too far from the truth, but today it is being challenged as more and more women take on key roles within the industry, especially within the Hino Australia network.
To celebrate International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, we sat down with two women, Kara Green, Parts Interpreter at Adtrans Hino Smeaton Grange and Jade Morrison, Service Manager at Sci-Fleet Hino Nerang, who are both excelling in their roles and shining bright in a once male-dominated industry.
Hi Jade and Kara, thanks for sitting down and having a chat with us. Tell us about your role and how long you’ve been working at your respective Hino dealerships?
Jade: I’m currently employed at Sci-Fleet Hino (https://www.scifleethino.com.au/) in Nerang and have been for ten years. In 2010 I originally was employed as a Service Advisor at our Coopers Plains branch and after a few years in the role, I became interested in learning more mechanically. I reached out and asked if they would consider offering me an apprenticeship as a Heavy Vehicle technician, to which they accepted. I believe I was one of the first female apprentices to be hired in the Hino side of the business. I transferred to the Nerang dealership in 2014 and completed my apprenticeship in 2016, which I was then promoted to a Service Supervisor in that same year. From then on, I have progressed up the ranks and in July 2017 I was promoted to Assistant Service Manager, and then in November 2019 I became the Service Manager.
Kara: I’ve been at Adtrans Hino (https://www.adtranshino.com.au/) in Sydney for four and a half years now. I first started as an apprentice and then went on to complete my training at TAFE.
The truck industry has previously been very male dominated, how did you initially get into the industry?
Jade: Prior to Sci-Fleet, I worked as a receptionist in an office that housed multiple companies. One of the businesses I worked with was Hino Motor Sales Australia and I had built quite a good relationship with the QLD Regional Manager who operated from that office. He advised that Sci-Fleet Hino at Coopers Plains was looking to employ a new Service Advisor, so I applied and landed the job.
Kara: I used to deliver parts to Adtrans Hino and got on really well with the Manager at the time. After about a year, the Manager saw my potential and offered me a job purely based off my personality. The only automotive knowledge I had was knowing how to put petrol in my car! Not a question was raised about me being a woman. It was more of, if you can do a good job that’s all we could ask.
What’s the best thing about your role?
Jade: I love exceeding customer expectations. There is no better feeling when you have gone above and beyond a customer’s initial experience expectation. It’s the small things that customers remember and the reason they continue to visit the dealership regularly.
Also, the fantastic team of people I get to work with every day. I couldn’t ask for better people to work alongside with, we are a very tight-knit team and share the same core values, it makes for a very enjoyable workplace.
Kara: What I like about my job is the relationship I have with my customers. It’ s not just all about work. We can talk about all sorts of things. I came into this job knowing nothing at all and it has been a real challenge for me, but I’ve enjoyed learning everything about the automotive world. Having great people to work with also makes the work day that much better.
Would you encourage other women to get into this industry, and what tips do you have if someone is considering it?
Jade: Absolutely! Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. There is no limitation to what a woman can achieve in this industry. It’s a tough industry so you must be willing to work hard, persevere through adversity and have the will to learn.
Kara: Yes, absolutely! In this day and age there should be no such thing as men and women jobs. If you are a good fit and capable for the job, then that’s all that should matter.
Lastly, this question is for Kara. How did you feel winning the Parts category at our 2019 National Skills Contest and being the first women to do this?
Kara: It was surreal! I still can’t believe I actually won. I was such a nervous wreck throughout the whole day so when they read my name out, I was over the moon. There was a bit of pressure to do one better as I placed second the year before, so to actually do it and win was an amazing moment and one I will never forget. I’d like to think I did it for all the women out there who feel like they come second in this male-dominated industry.
International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, which is on this Sunday 8th March.