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In a traditionally male dominated industry where females make up only one per cent of the workforce, Katie Hammill-Lovett is proud to be breaking the mould as she begins her trade career with the Woolworths Group.

Hammill-Lovett, 19, is one of 15 new apprentices to secure a job with Woolworths in the past year.

She is one of only four female apprentices to be selected from nearly 500 applicants and is our very first NextGen nominee for 2021.

After just six short months, Hammill-Lovett is thriving in her new trade career and said her experience so far has been amazing.

“When I started I didn’t even know any other female tradies, so I had no idea what it was going to be like stepping into a traditionally male dominated industry,” she said.

“Going into it was a bit stressful at first but I’m being supported so much and learning new things all of the time - every single day is different.

“The tradesmen I work with don’t care about gender at all, they just want me to get in there and have a go. They just want to pass on their knowledge and teach me the skills they have acquired over the years. They think having a female on the team is awesome.”

Woolworths Group apprenticeship program manager, Caroline Fitzgerald said that during the recruitment process one of the main aims was to have a gender-balanced number of shortlisted candidates.

“At Woolworths we believe our customers should see in our people a reflection of themselves and their communities,” Fitzgerald said.

She said that once Hammill-Lovett completes her trade qualification there will be many opportunities available for her and other apprentices to progress further to take on more senior roles within the organisation.

“There is a whole raft of different career opportunities available within Woolworths. If she chooses to become a project manager or even the next state manager, the opportunities are there,” she said.

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