Resource also available in:
In 2022, IPAF President Karin Nars launched the 'Women in Powered Access' initiative, inviting women of all ages and different professional roles to share their stories of inclusivity. The initiative includes a number of key actions, including providing a platform to tell the stories of women in powered access in both the media and at industry events. IPAF will also use its own print, web and social media platforms to share these inspirational case studies and will also continue to invite prominent women speakers to present at IPAF events. IPAF will share a series of case studies at www.ipaf.org/casestudy to communicate the opportunities our industry offers women.
What is your role in powered access? I’m an operator training instructor for Mills in Brazil.
How did you come into this industry and what attracted you to it? I was first introduced to Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) when I was working as a safety at work technician. In this role I would encounter unsafe conditions and ineffective working methods daily, and witnessed many incidents involving work at height. MEWPs offered different solutions to a real problem that I experienced in this role, and since then I fell in love with the concept that yes, it is possible to perform work at height in a safe way. Years later I had the opportunity to work at Mills, which here in Brazil is a well-known business in the MEWP rental and training sector. I embraced this opportunity as the perfect professional development project, to specialise more and more in safe methods of operation of MEWPs to work at height.
What do you find inspiring about your role? The idea that, just as I didn't know anything about MEWPs, many other people also don't know about them as being such an intelligent, and at the same time simple and effective, solution! It is very gratifying to share my knowledge and to make sure that my work helps save lives.
Where do you see yourself in five years and what do you want to achieve? In addition to my search for recognition as one of the best IPAF instructors in the world [having been shortlisted in the Best Training Instructor category of the IAPAs in 2022], I also see myself in a few years to still be in the continual learning process. More and more new technologies keep arising to benefit safe operation, and I want to continue to learn and to share my knowledge.
What one piece of advice would you give to other women in/thinking of entering the industry? Through my training, I have increasingly been keen to identify and encourage other women who want to specialise in MEWP operations. This demonstrates that, just like the wider powered access industry and many other predominantly male sectors, there are more opportunities for women to develop our skills. It is worth saying that difficulties still exist, but our perception, resilience and plurality only add value to work teams, allowing us to dream big and to go far!
“Our perception, resilience and plurality only adds value to work teams, allowing us to dream big and to go far!”