RoundTable Podcast – Transcription
J: Halo olgeta, nem blong mi Jarah. Welkam long RoundTable Podcast. We created this space for Ni-Vanuatu women, like me, to speak freely on issues affecting us today. Let’s now beget life in the islands together. Join me as I speak to a new guest every episode and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Ale yumi storian. This project is made possible with the support of the WeRise Coalition and PECMAS.
TRANSLATIONS: Hello everyone, my name is Jarah. Welcome to the RoundTable Podcast. We created this space for Ni-Vanuatu women, like me, to speak freely on issues affecting us today. Let’s now beget life in the islands together. Join me as I speak to a new guest every episode and ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask. Let’s discuss. This project is made possible with the support of the WeRise Coalition and PECMAS.
J: In this modern society, especially in Vanuatu, we recently just started to recognize women in non-traditional roles, even in male dominated industries. From a report done by the World Bank on women in Vanuatu analyzing challenges to economic participation, and I quote “Vanuatu is a traditionally male dominated and largely patriarchal society”. Welcome back to the RoundTable, I’m here with Ruthy Alick. Hello Ruthy.
J: So the purpose of this episode is to acknowledge women who are working in male dominant industries. So we’re celebrating women who participate in non-traditional roles, like women that are doctors, pilots and engineers like yourself. So before going on, I would like to ask, Ruthy, if you can talk a little bit about yourself.
R: Ok so good day. My name is Ruthy Alick and I am working as a side supervisor for PWD and I just recently started working in 2019. And I have one kid, he’s going to be 2 soon. And I am from the island of Malekula.
J: Ok, so Ruthy, what is it that you do at your workplace?
R: So, what I do is I supervise road projects or road operation works. So it’s not only me that I’m a side supervisor, there’s a lot of us. But I’m working here in Shefa, so we look after the road works around Shefa. So what we do is we assist with engineering support for road works in Shefa Public Works.
J: Ok so, what motivated you to become an engineer? What are the steps that you took, that took you to where you are right now in a workplace that is normally associated with men?
R: Ok so what motivated me was, growing mi wantem tekem wan challenge and I feel like engineering hemi wan subject or something that’s going to challenge me so I decided to take it up. I feel like if I went on to study some of the other, maybe accounting or commerce, I feel like it’s not too challenging for me so mi wantem challengem mi wan and I took it up. Wan moa samting tu hemi, my mum she, hemi talem long mi se I should do something different from hemi stap wok finis long bank and all that, afta hemi talem long mi se sapos we mi interest long wan samting we hemi different, like wan man i neva mekem o wanem be I should go for it. So hemi encouragem afta hemi talem olsem so i stap long maen blong mi mekem se mi filim se blong stadi engineering o wan samting olsem ia hemi isi nomo long mi. Afta wan moa samting tu hemi, hemi mekem mi mi tingting strong se ok I’m doing engineering. Be afta wan moa samting hemi mi luk se ok we have a lot of, yumi gat fulap man we oli specialised o oli stap bildim haos, ol strakja kaen ia, and we don’t have any road engineers be ol rod blong yumi oli nogud we oli nogud. Afta i mekem se mi mi wantem stadi engineering, be mi wantem se, like right now mi no specialised yet long roads, but I want to, hemi career path blong mi ia nao, mi wantem se bae mi go specialised long road engineering. So that’s wanem we i motivatem mi ia nao blong mi stadi engineering afta mi save wok long wea mi stap wok long hem naoia.
TRANSLATIONS: Ok so what motivated me was, growing up I wanted to take on challenges and I feel like engineering was a subject that was going to challenge me so I decided to take it up. I felt like if I went on to study something else, maybe accounting or commerce, I felt it was not too challenging for me, as I wanted to challenge myself, so I took it up. Another thing is that my mum suggested that I do something different, as she was already a banker, and that if I was interested in something that was different, something that maybe someone hasn’t done before or anything, that I should just go for it. So she encouraged me, and that stayed in my mind, so then I felt that studying engineering would be easy for me. That made me have strong thoughts that ok I’m doing engineering. But one more thing is that I saw that we had plenty of people specialized in building houses and structures, and we don’t have any road engineers but our roads are of bad quality. So that made me want to study engineering, and although right now I am not specialized in road engineering, it was my career path, I wanted to specialize in road engineering. So that is what motivated me to study engineering so that I could work where I am working now.
J: That’s a lovely story, I love how your parents helped you with motivation. Like right now yumi stap long Vanuatu, fulap pikinini oli groap long wan ples we parents blong olgeta, bae encouragem olgeta blong mekem, be there will be doubts in reference to our traditions. Like right now yumi stap long Vanuatu, bifo when women tried to carry out certain roles in a community, bae hemi difficult. Because we have this mentality we ol man oli karem aot, we wok ia hemi blong ol man, and certain works blong yumi, from the past, bae yumi lukaotem ol jej, yumi lukaotem haos, yumi kuk, yumi wash, ol samting ia. And even naoia tu taem i kam antap, olsem sapos yu lukluk gud long our parliament, it took up a lot of fights and a lot of support blong naoia yu luk naoia we only have one member of the parliament we hemi female. And it basically reflects to us, like mi mi luk tu se long ol past elections blong yumi we i kam go, las yia we oli nominatem ol members of the parliament blong yumi, it was quite challenging from se mi luk fulap long ol woman oli bin stanap finis but they never got through. And it sort of like reflectem tingting blong yumi as ol individuals blong Vanuatu, is that we encourage women to work, like right now that we’re currently starting to notice, but yumi no really mekem. You know like, we say things but we don’t really do it long ol actions blong yumi. Now, it is quite hard, blong wan woman i maintainem hem wan long wan wok, especially, for you as an engineer working in a male dominated place. Bae hemi hard blong yu maintainem yu wan, it’s very interesting, I would like for you to tell us a little bit about that, like what are the challenges you faced, were there any difficulties in you getting the job or workplace blong you, how are the male people in your industry, are there any conflicts or wanem nao ol challenges yu fesem olsem wan woman we i stap long we?
TRANSLATIONS: That’s a lovely story, I love how your parents helped you with motivation. Like right now in Vanuatu, a lot of children grow up in places where their parents will encourage them to do things, but there will be doubts in reference to our traditions. In Vanuatu, back then when women tried to carry out certain roles in a community, it was difficult. Because we have this mentality that is brought out that these roles are for men only, and our certain roles, from the past, would be to look after the church, to look after the home, to cook, to wash, those kinds of things. And even now coming up, if you take a look at our parliament, it took a lot of fights and a lot of support to now where we have one member of parliament that is a female. And it basically reflects to us, as when I look back to our past elections, and last year when they nominated our members of parliament, it was quite challenging as a lot of women contested but they never went through. And it sort of reflects our thoughts as individuals in Vanuatu, how we encourage women to work, like right now that we’re currently starting to notice, but we’re not really doing anything about it. You know like, we say things but we don’t really do it using actions. Now, it is quite hard for a woman to maintain herself in a role, especially for you as an engineer working in a male dominated place. It is hard to maintain yourself, and it’s very interesting, I would like for you to tell us a little bit about that, like what are the challenges you faced, were there any difficulties in you getting the job or in your workplace, how are the male people in your industry, are there any conflicts or what challenges do you face as a woman in there?
R: Ok olsem yu talem i tru, naoia bae yu luk fulap, even me taem mi talem se ok I’m going to go study civil engineering, fulap long ol guy friends blong mi olgeta oli talem se, olgeta we oli close long mi oli save se mi save mekem, they supported me, be sam bae yu luk save se ok olgeta oli hesitate nomo se why mi wantem go mekem olsem. Be somehow yes mi completem studies blong mi and then I came back, mifala nid blong completem industrial attachment, afta mi stap lukaotem wok, be long taem ia MIPU, Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, olgeta oli gat wan internship program, so mifala laki blong olgeta tekem mifala directly, we didn’t have to go through PSC. From se olgeta gat program ia long taem ia and after that i nomo gat, naoia evri wan kam mas go tru long PSC. So that’s how mi go insaed long pablik works through the internship program and then after we internship blong mi i lapse, and then mi stap olsem wan contract ofisa. So, yes, insaed long workplace, i gat challenges of course, because taem we mi kam insaed, ating mi namba 3 civil engineer we mi wan woman, wan female.
TRANSLATIONS: Ok what you said is true, like now you’ll see a lot of, even me when I said ok I’m going to go study civil engineering, a lot of my guy friends, those who were close to me they knew that I could do it, they supported me, but some you could see that they would hesitate in asking why I wanted to go do that. But somehow yes, I completed my studies and then I came back and we needed to complete an industrial attachment, then when I was looking for work, at the time MIPU, Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, set up an internship program, so we were lucky that they took us in directly and we didn’t have to go through PSC. Because they had that program for a while and after that they didn’t, so now everyone has to go through PSC. So that’s how I went into public works through their internship program and then after my internship lapsed, I then stayed as a contract officer. So, yes, in the workplace there were challenges of course, because when I went in, I think I was the third civil engineer that was a woman, a female.
J: Wow, congratulations.
R: There’s one senior wan we hemi stap finis, taem we mi go wok long PWD, i gat wan woman we hemi stap wok finis long we. Nem blong hem Louisa George, hemi stap olsem division engineer, and she was there for, I’m not really sure how long, be hemi stap long taem. Afta i mekem olsem se taem we mifala 3 nara wan mifala kam, olsem se work envaeromen i oraet nomo, we most of the time sapos mifala gat sam samting o wanem, even though taem we mi jes go wok, mi no wok stret wetem hem be like she was there and some of the challenges we hemi bin fesem finis o wanem, hemi helpem mifala blong navigatem wei blong mifala we mifla jes stap kam, like fresh out of school afta mifala wantem stat blong wok. So some of the challenges that I faced taem we mi jes kam wok was, bae mi sherem wan eksperiens, is that okay?
TRANSLATIONS: There was one senior that was already there, when I first went to work at PWD, there was a woman that was already working there. Her name is Louisa George, she was working as the division engineer, and she was there for, I’m not really sure how long, but she was there for a long time. And so when the 3 of us came in, the work environment was already alright, where most of the time when we needed something, even though when I first started working I didn’t work with her directly, she was always there and some of the challenges that she had also faced, she helped us to navigate our way as we had just come fresh out of school and we wanted to start working. So some of the challenges that I faced when I just started working was, I’m going to share an experience, is that okay?
J: Yes, go ahead.
R: When I first started working mi go wok long Santo and I was in charge of supervising wan contract we i gat wan contractor hemi stap wok, hemi olsem wan trial, oli neva trialem this type of contract before, be taem we mi mi stap long we oli wantem trialem aot long Santo afta mi and another boy bakegen mitufala i supervise. Be wan long challenges was ol male contractors blong mifala, olsem se olgeta no get use blong stap risivim instruction from ol ladies, especially mi taem we mi kam mi yang, I was small, hemia olsem se sapos mi talem wan samting bae nogat man i save lisen nomo long mi. So long taem ia mifala gat issue wetem hem from contractor ia from nomo se hemi no bin comply long sam samting we i stap insaed long contract. And then when we want to penalise him, hemi agri, taem we mi wetem wan boy mitufala go mifala gat miting, mifala discuss, hemi talem se “ok yes mi agri, from olsem ia mi save se bae yufala penalisem me”. But then taem we mi processem payment blong hem i go afta i gat deductions, hemi kolem mi hemi threatenem mi wantaem. Hemi talem sam toktok we, afta long taem ia because I was young, mi jes stap kam wok nomo, mi mi harem se mi fraet we mi fraet, even to the point we hemi tok long mi gogo mi mi cry, mi nomo save se bae mi talem wanem, mi sitdaon nomo mi stap cry olsem ia. Afta, olsem se hemia wan long ol challenge ia nao we mi bin fesem long taem ia and then because bifo mi stap harem olsem stap talem se women they don’t get treated semak olsem ol man long ol kaen wok olsem ia. Be mi mi no bilivim tumas olsem long haos o growing up, mi no luk kaen mentality ia. Because mifala oli tritim mifala evri wan semak, olsem taem yu gat rispek blong wan nara man, yu expectem semak rispek, be long hemia ia olsem mi no bin luk tumas, be long taem ia mi jes save ia nao se ok yes hem ating i luk se, from taem hemi tok long mi, hemi talem evri samting ia se yu wan smol gel nomo yu jes stat, evri samting olsem ia. So long taem ia nao i jes sink in long maen blong mi se ok yes ol woman olgeta fesem ol kaen challenge olsem ia long wok ples ia be mi klad tu se i bin happen long mi olsem ia, because after that kam kasem naoia, mi save stand up for mi wan naoia. Sapos we mi gat eni issue olsem ia, olsem se mi nomo nidim ol boss blong mi blong oli helpem mi. Mo afta naoia olsem, after long eksperiens ia, mi filim se i mekem mi strong tu olsem naoia eni wan i save kam, mi mi gat graon we mi save stanap long hem, mi save fight, o toktok, speak up for myself. So hemia wan long ol challenge, and the things that I enjoy long wok ia, olsem bae mi talem se yes i gat ol challenges blong hem, but i gat ol fulap samting tu we mi enjoy. So firstly, mi enjoyem from se hemi wea ples nao we mi mi wantem stap long hem naoia, olsem taem we mi bin stap tingting about career blong mi when I was in high school kaen ia, mi wantem wok long wan field we hemi outdoors, yumi no stap tumas insaed long ofis. So what I enjoyed about this work hemi from se most of my time mi mi spendem aotsaed and then mi kam bak blong mekem ripot, afta I get to go places, afta yu go tu long ol komuniti we bae mi talem se oli vulnerable, afta hemi openem eye blong yu long fulap samting. Bae yu save luk se ok taem we yumi nogat gudfala infrastructure, bae fulap komuniti bae olgeta i no save kasem ol seves o ol kaen samting olsem. So wan samting we mi enjoyem about wok blong mi hemi from i helpem tu fulap ol man.
TRANSLATIONS: When I first started working, I worked in Santo and was in charge of supervising a contract that already had it contractor and it was like a trial, and they had never tried this type of contract before, but as I was there they wanted to complete the trials out of Santo so another boy and I had to supervise. But one of the challenges regarding our male contractors, they weren’t used to receiving instructions from ladies, and especially me when I first arrived, I was young, I was small, that when I would say something nobody would listen to me. So we had this issue with the contractor that he had not complied with what was set out in the contract. And then when we want to penalize him, he agrees, and when one of the boys and I, we get in a meeting, we discuss, he will then say ok yes, I agree, that way I know that you have penalized me”. But then when I processed the payments and there were deductions, he called me and threatened me right there. He said some things that after, because I was young and had just started work, I felt so afraid even to the point where when he was scolding me I cried as I didn’t know what to say, I just sat down and cried. And so this was a challenge that I faced at the time and then because I would also hear the saying that women don’t get treated the same as men in that kind of work. But I didn’t believe it because in my home, growing up I never saw that mentality. Because they treated us all the same, so when you had respect for someone else you could expect the same back, but from this I never saw a lot, so then I realized that maybe he thinks that, because he can talk to me like that, he said stuff like you’re just a little girl, you just started, things like that. So it was then that it sunk into my mind that ok yes women face these kinds of challenges in the workplace, but I am also glad that it happened because I now know when to stand up for myself. So when I have these issues, I won’t need my boss to help me. And so now after this experience, I feel it has made me stronger that anything that comes my way I have the grounds that I can stand on, where I can fight, argue, or speak up for myself. So this is one of the challenges and the things that I enjoy from this work, like I can say that yes there are its challenges, but there are also the things that I enjoy. So firstly, I enjoy it because it’s a place where I’ve wanted to be, as when I was thinking about my career when I was in high school, I knew I wanted to work in a field that was mainly outdoors, and not really inside an office a lot. So what I enjoyed about this work is how most of my time is spent outside and then I come back to make reports, and I get to go places, to communities where I am going to say that they are vulnerable and it really opens your eyes to a lot of things. You will be able to notice that like ok when we don’t have good infrastructure, a lot of communities won’t be able to gain the basic services needed. So what I enjoy about my work is that it helps a lot of people.
J: That was very inspiring Ruthy, thank you. Speaking of hao we man ia i pointem aot yu se yu wan smol gel, hemia hemi wan long ol challenge blong ol woman tu, especially when you’re young trying to find a job, especially taem we hemi not really in your role, especially long komuniti blong yu. I’m really inspired by what you just shared, mi luk se straight after your experience we man ia i tok nogud long yu finis, I feel like you built confidence over it right? How did you feel afterwards, after we you go through long situation ia?
TRANSLATIONS: That was very inspiring Ruthy, thank you. Speaking of how that man pointed you out saying that you are a small girl, and that this is a challenge for women too, especially when you’re young trying to find a job, especially when it’s not really in your role, and in your community. I’m really inspired by what you just shared, I think the straight after your experience with that man that scolded you, I feel like you built confidence over it right? How did you feel afterwards, after you went through this situation?
R: I think, from long wok ples tu and the support that we get from our bosses, olgeta tu oli no toleratem kaen attitude ia, so help blong olgeta tu ating i helpem mi blong mi save, bae mi talem se, blong mi get over wanem we, from afta long hem i gat wan miting and then, blong toktok wetem contractor se fasin hemi bin mekem ia tu i no stret and bae hemi should stap expectem more women in the future blong oli stap givim instructions long hem, so sapos we hemi no save deal wetem mifala naoia, it’s either hem i nomo gat contract wetem mifala o hemi mas acceptem nomo blong deal wetem mifala. Ating sapot we mi karem we ol colleagues, employers, ol bosses blong mifala we olgeta tu oli no toleratem i mekem se wok envaeromen tu i gud, mekem olsem se i save helpem mifala blong afta long incident ia o eksperiens we mi go tru long hem be mi still save, mo olgeta encouragem mi tu plante se ok hemia olgeta oli save mekem olsem be wetem sapot we oli providem. I mekem se i helpem mi tu blong mi save gro aot long situation o eksperiens we mi bin go tru long hem.
TRANSLATIONS: I think, because in the workplace too and the support we get from our bosses, they also don’t tolerate that kind of behavior, so their aid really helped to get over what happened, because there was a meeting held to speak with the contractor saying that his behavior was not right and that he should expect more women in the future to be giving him instructions, so if he couldn’t deal with us now, it’s either he no longer holds a contract with us or he accepts it and just deals with us. I think the support that I got from colleagues, employers, and our bosses where they also don’t tolerate it, it made it so that the work environment is also good, and its helped us a lot after the incident and the experience we went through, and they still encourage me that this they can do and with the support they provide. And it helped me so that I can grow out of this situation and what I experienced.
J: One more question, from experience long fren blong yu we i stap long taem and from you, does it really take a lot of effort and with the right support, can you actually do something?
TRANSLATIONS: One more question, from experience with a friend who’s been doing this a long time and from you, does it really take a lot of effort and with the right support, can you actually do something?
R: Yes be like you said it takes effort, olsem mi no save recallem wan specific example o wanem, be mi recallem wan conversation nomo mifala i bin concernem wan samting long wok, afta olsem se hemi bin mentionem se hemi klad tumas se naoia mifala few mifala i save kam in bakegen, like female engineers blong save stap from se long past ating taem we hemi wantem karem wan poen blong hem i go across o wan samting, ating bae i tekem time o olgeta mas discuss rounem. Be naoia taem mifala fulap i push from, hemi moa faster blong yumi save achievem wanem we yumi wantem. Ating hem tu, wan gudfala samting hemi save speak up mekem se hemi wan bigfala advantage tu we i helpem mi. Be mi tingse sapos hemi no bin stap speak up ating bae hemi no save achievem tu sam samting we hemi save mekem. Be hemi outspoken long fulap samting so mi tingse from hemia i mekem se hem tu i save achievem sam samting o wanem we hemi bin stap tingting long hem.
TRANSLATIONS: Yes but like you said it takes effort, I cannot recall a specific example, but I can recall a conversation that we had concerning something from work, and she had mentioned that she was glad that now few of us can come in as female engineers because from the past when she wanted to carry across a point, it took time and they would discuss around it. But now that a lot of us have pushed for this, it’ll be faster for us to achieve what we want. I think one good thing about her is she can speak up so it’s a huge advantage in helping me. But I think that if she couldn’t speak up, maybe she wouldn’t be able to achieve the things she could do. But she is very outspoken so I think because of this it has made her able to achieve these things or the things she has thought about.
J: Thank you Ruthy for sharing, it is something that a lot of women need to hear. What would you say to young women or girls in the community right now who are not getting the same amount of support we bae mummy mo daddy oli encouragem yumi blong fulfillem dreams blong yumi and pursue our paths, girls who are wanting to work at this particular field we yu stap wok long hem naoia?
TRANSLATIONS: Thank you Ruthy for sharing, it is something that a lot of women need to hear. What would you say to young women or girls in the community right now who are not getting the same amount of support where our parents are encouraging us to fulfill our dream and pursue our paths, girls who are wanting to work at this particular field that you are working in now?
R: Thank you Jarah. Wanem we mi wantem talem hemi I think naoia fulap young girls, ating fulap olgeta oli no aware nomo long fulap plante wok we olgeta olil save mekem. Bae mi talem long saed blong engineering, when we hear engineering yumi tingbaot nomo se ol man ia olgeta oli fixim hemia o, and then we think of the men that we oli stap afta oli bildim, oli contstructem be…
TRANSLATIONS: Thank you Jarah. What I want to say is I think now a lot of young girls are not aware of the plenty of work that is available to them. As an engineer, when we hear about engineering we think about how they fixed this or, and then we think of the men that built and constructed…
J: Yes, true.
R: Mostly olgeta oli no, I think i nogat awareness long ol field ia afta i mekem se yumi, perception blong yumi long ol field ia hemi, sam taem i no stret afta yumi stap mekem ol judgment o yumi luk nomo afta yumi talem se “ok no I can’t do this”. Be long eni yang gel o whoever we hemi stap tingting se hemi wantem go into the field of engineering, olsem bae mi talem i gat fulap samting long engineering. There’s environmental engineering, there’s chemical engineering, agrikalja even. Mi mi mekem civil engineering, civil engineering hemi wan, bae mi talem olsem general nomo be to go more specific, there’s roads, there’s buildings, there’s geo technical engineering, hemia yu stadi soil nomo…
TRANSLATIONS: Mostly they don’t have enough awareness of these fields, so our perception of these fields is that sometimes we make judgements or we see this and say “ok no I can’t do this”. But for any young girl or whoever that is thinking of going into the field of engineering, like I’ll say that within engineering there are plenty of types. There’s environment engineering, there’s chemical engineering, agriculture even. I am in civil engineering, and here, to be more specific, there’s roads, there’s buildings, there’s also geo technical engineering where you just study soil…
J: Yes, true.
R: You just have to say “ok soil ia i no stret, bae yumi mas mekem gud soil ia blong i save karem strakja ia we hemi olsem”. And most long ol taem ol samting we bae yu mekem, bae yu no even stap nomo long eye blong pablik, like people won’t even see you be yu yu stap contribute wan bigfala samting, olsem contribution blong yu go towards wan projek i bigwan. So firstly ating yumi should stap gat moa, like last time PSC stap mekem ol career day ia, i gat PSC day and then ol studen oli kam in blong askem ol kwestin. Mi tingse i nid blong gat moa awareness blong talem aot long ol yang gel o ol boy o whoever se i gat fulap difdifren kaen wok we yu save kam mekem, most of the time ating bae yu tingse “no bae mi wok ia lukaot bae fulap man bae oli luk mi se mi mekem wok ia and then they’ll blame me sapos wan samting i go wrong”. Be no yu save stap long lab, yu save mekem ol test, i gat fulap samting. Firstly ating bae yumi nid blong givim moa awareness, sapos i gat moa awareness afta bae i gat fulap, mi tingse bae i gat fulap yang gel bae oli save interest tu blong save tekem ap ol field especially long ol male dominated field of work. Nara samting we mi wantem talem hemi jes wan encouragement nomo se fulap taem yumi ol gel o yumi bakegen nomo yumi stap putum yumi wan daon, yu nomo yu tingting se no afta i finis ia nao be yu no even traem nomo. O maybe yu yu biliv long yu wan se yu save mekem be afta i gat wan fren blong yu we i talem se no…
TRANSLATIONS: You just have to say “ok this soil is not healthy, we have to get it healthy so it can hold this structure”. And most of the time with the work that you do, you won’t even be in the public’s eye, people won’t even see you but you would be contributing towards a project greatly. So firstly, I think we should have more, like PSC used to have career day and PSC day and then students would come and ask questions. I think there needs to be more awareness to let young girls, boys and whoever that there’s plenty of different work you can do, but most of the time you might think “no what if I go do this work and people see me doing certain things then they’ll blame me if something goes wrong”. But no, you can stay in a lab, you can run tests, there’s plenty different things. Firstly we need to give more awareness, if there is more awareness then there’ll be more young girls that will be interested to take up work in these fields especially in male dominated fields. Another things I want to say is just an encouragement that a lot of times we are the ones that put ourselves down, thinking no and then that’s that but you never even tried. Or maybe you believe in yourself but you may have a friend that says no…
J: You can’t do it.
R: Be mi tingse olgeta i should traem, like just take that first step sapos we yu wantem stadi engineering, o yu wantem kam wan dokta o wanem, yu statem. Sapos we evri samting i stap go gud then i stret ia nao, yu yu save mekem ia nao. Be most of the time yu wan nomo ating yu mas biliv long yu wan, taem yu biliv long yu wan, mi fil se bae yu save mekem. Mo wan moa samting hemi long ol parents ia nao ating bae i hard lelebet mi no save hao blong mi save givim wan advaes we i go especially long ol parents. Be mi wantem talem nomo se mi tingse bae awareness ia nao bae i save helpem parents tu blong olgeta oli kam blong save se “ok ating wok ia hemi gud blong daughter blong mi blong hemi mekem”. So ating hemia sam long ol samting we mi save talem and lastly sapos yu yu wan Christian o wanem, with the help of God, yu trustem yu wan afta yu pray bakegen long bigman be eni samting yu putum maen blong yu blong yu achievem, bae yu save achievem nomo.
TRANSLATIONS: But I think you should just try, take that first step if you want to study engineering, or you want to become a doctor or anything else, you start that yourself. If everything goes well then that’s that and you can do whatever you want now. But most of the time it is just you that has to believe in yourself, and when you do, then I know that you can do it. And another thing is regarding parents, but I think it might be hard and I don’t know how to give advice that goes especially to parents. But I just want to say that maybe with more awareness, this can help parents so they can say that “ok maybe this work is good for my daughter to do ”. So I think this is something that I can say and lastly if you are a Christin or anything, with the help of God, believing in yourself and then praying to Him, then anything you put your mind to gaining, you will be able to achieve that.
J: Thank you for that, it was very encouraging, thank you so much. Ruthy, I would like to ask a question. If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you be doing?
R: To be honest, I don’t even know se bae mi ansarem kwestin ia olsem wanem, mi no even save tu se where will I be. Be when growing up mi stap tingting se I want to be a lawyer, afta mi stap tingting se ok ating bae mi kam wan lawyer nao so maybe sapos we mi no bin stadi engineering maybe I’ll be a lawyer, I don’t know.
TRANSLATIONS: To be honest, I don’t even know how to answer that question because I don’t even know where I would be. But when growing up I used to think that ok maybe I’ll become a lawyer, so if I hadn’t studied engineering maybe I’ll be a lawyer, I don’t know.
J: Ok thank you so much Ruthy, with all that being said, it brings us to the end of our podcast. To wrap things up I would like to say a big thank you to all the women out there who are working in male dominated spaces and also a big thank you to you Ruthy for your experience. I’m pretty sure it will contribute to encouraging girls out there who are looking forward or who are hoping to work in male dominated industries. And we are having this discussion for the women and girls in the future so they don’t go through the same challenges in the hopes that things will be better. If you guys who are listening, you want to hear more, check out our page on Sista Vanuatu either on Instagram, Facebook, or hear more on unspoken topics stay tuned on our website at www.sista.com.vu. This is Jarah, make sure to tune in to the next episode on the RoundTable.