Female Leader Conversations Ebook feature,
Managing Director of Genergy Australia, Brooke MacGregor
& Platinum Electricians Morningside Director, Tammy Stanton said,
“We all have so much potential to influence the female agenda every day whether it is at work, or at home. Never doubt your power”
- Brooke and Tammy both work in the Electrotechnology industry, worth $80 billion per year
- The electrotechnology industry has a female participation rate of 17% – and it is declining
- Over 340,000 people are employed in the industry
- Most required skills in the industry are communication skills, problem solving, organisational skills, and trouble shooting – skills most women have in abundance
- Brooke and Tammy are founding members of Women in Power
- They believe it is just as important to teach boys about gender equality
Brooke MacGregor and Tammy Stanton are on a mission to increase women in electrotechnology. They are business owners, founding members of Women in Power, and lead fun electrical sessions in kindergartens to challenge gender stereotypes around women in trades.
In 2015 Brooke was recognised as a Women in Contracting National Excellence Award Winner and a Women in Contracting South East Queensland Excellence Award Winner by Master Electricians. Brooke received the 2016 NAWIC Award for Achievement as a Business Woman.
Tammy was awarded Construction Female of the Year 2015 by Construction Skills Queensland. Tammy has served nine years as Treasurer for Master Electricians Australia.
How are you educating children on being an electrician?
Children form beliefs around gender roles at such a young age. It is crucial that boys and girls see females participating in the industry. That is why we have rolled out our Electrical Kindy Program. Our Kindy Sessions aim to break through the stereotypes that are already forming, and to challenge the gender expectations that surround them.
We do this by wearing full high-vis uniforms and personal protective equipment. And children dress up in high-vis vests and hard hats. We break them into pairs to build simple electrical circuits that activate flying propellers, while also teaching them about electrical safety. The children have a ball. We are influencing them in a positive gentle way. And seriously, how refreshing is it to work with children? When asked if they want to be an electrician when they grow up, there are a lot of hands in the air.
What led you to become Directors of your businesses?
We fell into our businesses with family members already pursuing this avenue. But, the reason we both keep doing it is because we love the industry and for the flexibility it provides our own families. We have control over the direction of our companies and making tough decisions. We are also able to go to a swimming carnival or Mother’s Day event, without feeling the guilt of letting down the boss.
The businesses give us the flexibility to put our family first. This is dear to both our hearts. Having a small business also makes us feel we are building something bigger than ourselves. Our businesses provide jobs, solve problems, pay tax, and support charities.
How have you overcome them?
Brooke’s greatest challenge would be combining a young family with running a demanding business. Brooke managed to make the first nine months work (whereby she was the primary carer) by bringing the boys into the office (they slept under her desk). She also worked from home when required. Breastfeeding sessions were called ‘meetings’ and clients on the phone were none the wiser. As the boys have gotten older they have attended Team and Safety Meetings and inspected jobs on work sites. It takes a good support network and flexibility at work, but a career and motherhood can co-exist.
What advice do you have for future leaders?
Have the courage to challenge the norm and seek as much advice as you can. There are so many people, like the four of us in Women in Power, that are here to help and listen.
There are so many accomplished, capable talented women making a mark in the world that we have a fighting chance for gender diversity. But it is imperative that we all do our bit to champion women in the workforce and push for their inclusion. At the end of the day, if we don’t do it, who will?