A driving force for young girls

PIONEER: Karen Chapman is making roads in a male-dominated industry.
PIONEER: Karen Chapman is making roads in a male-dominated industry. Gemima Harveycoffs Coast Advoca
Big Rigs industry pride campaign
Big Rigs industry pride campaign

She is the first female driver to join Handybin Waste Services in Coffs Harbour, and in a male- dominated industry, Ms Chapman is accustomed to turning heads.

"I've had many residents pop out and have a chat whilst I'm doing my run - I think they really like to see a woman at the wheel of a big truck," she said.

Ms Chapman is a role model for young girls, teaching from her driver's seat that gender stereotypes do not need to stick.

"I like the fact that little girls do a double-take when they see me driving.

"The kids always smile and point. I feel like I'm helping kids to recognise that girls and women can take on any job, and do it well."

She said her colleagues and the wider community had been welcoming and encouraging.

Handybin Waste Services environmental manager Darryn Westman said the company was delighted to have a woman apply for a driving position.

"We appreciate when women put their hat in the ring to enter a male-dominated industry," he said.

Transport manager Greg Boyd said the company "would actively encourage more appropriately licensed women drivers to apply".

The Waste Contractors and Recyclers Association says there has been a gradual trend over the past decade of more women drivers are taking up positions in the industry.

Topics:  industry pride transport trucks

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