In her three-year Electrotechnology course at TAFE, out of 160 students, Suzanne Galea was one of only four women. Of the other three, one was her triplet sister.  

These bleak diversity figures in the classroom reflect the reality of the broader industry: as an Electrician, the gender share in Suzanne's chosen field - a dynamic one with strong future growth - is only 1% female. 

Suzanne is used to being in rarefied company. She is a fraternal triplet, which generally accounts for scarcely 0.02% of the total annual birth population.  

Eight months ago, Suzanne finished her Certificate III in Electrotechnology and almost immediately re-joined Ventia in September 2022 as a Fully Qualified Electrician. 

"My plan was always to make my way back to Ventia", says Suzanne. "I had a standing offer to return full-time when I finished my degree."  

Suzanne had joined Ventia in 2019 as an apprentice electrician. During her 2.5-year apprenticeship within the Telecommunications business, she worked on everything from battery changes for back-up power through to wiring up of AI Remotes.  

She's now part of the Fixed Networks Team, working out of Arndell Park in Western Sydney and servicing clients like Telstra and the Department of Defence (DoD).   


Apprentice no more  

Suzanne's job is as varied as they come. Fault-finding one day, inspecting the next, she is currently working on a nationwide project carrying out work on client sites.  

Most of the time, she travels to sites and works alone. As a Qualified Supervisors Certificate Electrician, Suzanne is perfectly capable of working unsupervised on low voltage fixed wiring and equipment and also supervise others undertaking this type of work.  

A Project Manager supports her with some of the background work and remote access to sites, but once the logistics are sorted, Suzanne works independently to carry out the required jobs. 

"Sometimes I just have to do some old-fashioned door knocking myself to get access to a site," she says.   


A long way from home 

At the moment, Suzanne is in Exmouth, on the tip of the North West Cape on the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia, about 1,124kms north of Perth.  

Earlier this same week, she had been in Perth working doing alarm integration, software updates and audits at Optus Stadium. Four weeks before that, she was in Laverton, WA about 359kms northeast of Kalgoorlie, where she drove five hours by 4WD to a remote DoD location for servicing on the same project.  

On site, her work can involve any number of tasks, including updating network and firmware files, integrating and bringing alarm and power systems online, rectifying and updating orders and maintaining or modifying electrical equipment, wiring and control systems.   


Women in trade  

After this particular project comes to end, Suzanne is looking forward to getting back to her Sydney crew again. She's been working with this team since her apprentice days and has developed lasting relationships with many of them. 

"They are a really good team to work with", she says.

It's very uncommon for women to do a trade. That's why I would love to see something like 'Women in Trade' days at Ventia, to showcase all the opportunities in the industry to other aspiring women

In addition to promoting the profile of women in trades, Suzanne is also keen to organise or get involved in initiatives like Career Days for high school students.  

I know I would've loved to have seen a woman stand up to a room full of young students and tell them there are no limits as to what industry they can work in.

A car enthusiast who likes to tinker with engines in her spare time, Suzanne had her eye on an old school V8 she could refurbish. But she's decided to put that project on hold for now.  
Instead, she bought her first property with one of her sisters in Western Sydney and got herself a new 4WD that she's eager to kit out and upgrade very soon.  

"As soon as I get the chance, I want to take it and travel around the country some more!"