Be­hind the Scenes - Lau­ren Sheedy

Be­hind

GLT Magazine - - Contents -

What's it re­ally like to be a fly- in, fly- out fe­male in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try?

We’re talk­ing with Lau­ren about her ex­pe­ri­ence as a fly- in, fly- out worker in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, which is a tra­di­tion­ally male dom­i­nated en­vi­ron­ment.

Lau­ren. “It’s a dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic to a lot of other work­places in this in­dus­try, I work with guys that are mostly 45+ with fam­i­lies so ev­ery­one is re­ally friendly and nice. Peo­ple ask if I get cracked onto all the time, but that’s not the case. I don’t know if it’s just my ex­pe­ri­ence, but I think it has a lot to do with be­ing pro­fes­sional and re­spon­si­ble for your­self. I treat peo­ple with re­spect, and I ex­pect the same back.”

Some peo­ple would say that women can’t do the job, what is your re­sponse to that?

“I do rig­ging, so I do strug­gle some­times, but I just ask ‘ Can you please help me?' Be­cause we’re do­ing a job for them, and they want that job done, they don’t mind help­ing. Most things aren’t hard to rig up, and we have lift­ing planes, so it doesn’t dis­ad­van­tage me. Why would you want to do a job you know you can’t do? The gen­er­al­i­sa­tion isn’t right, plenty of women are big and strong, and plenty of guys aren’t. You know what your lim­i­ta­tions are, so you wouldn’t ap­ply for a job you couldn’t do."

Rachel. "There are pro­ce­dures in place for help­ing get the job done, as well as le­gal re­quire­ments for things to be done in a way that meets health and safety, for all work­ers. For ex­am­ple, the ma­chin­ery you have men­tioned, or weight re­stric­tions, such as those you find at an air­port re­gard­ing lug­gage.

It will al­ways be ac­cept­able to ask for help at work. For in­stance, you may not know how to use Ex­cel, and ask Sharon from IT to show you. It's not nec­es­sary that some­thing like need­ing help with some things should hold us back. Ob­vi­ously, if your job is solely lift­ing heavy things all day and you are tiny, re­gard­less of gen­der, you should know your lim­i­ta­tions as you say."

We can some­times stand in our own way and lis­ten too much to so­ci­ety’s ideas about our own lim­i­ta­tions. What was your ex­pe­ri­ence grow­ing up?

"My mum didn’t have too much to say about my choice of in­dus­try, she was just pleased I had a job I wanted, I think her re­sponse was ‘ Fan­tas­tic, good on you!’. She didn’t di­rectly in­flu­ence my choice of ca­reer, but how she brought me up showed me I could do any­thing as she does ev­ery­thing, DIY, gar­den­ing, takes care of the house, works, ev­ery­thing, no gen­der spe­cific roles. We are on the cusp of some­thing, we’ve come a long way since the 1950’ s where a women’s role was to stay at home, and a man went out to work."

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