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Wāhine in Trades and Engineering

Wāhine in Trades and Engineering event text on black background with infographic wahine holding a flag

Discover your future in trades and engineering!

Join our Centre for Trades, Hospitality, and Centre for Engineering and Industrial Design whānau for this exciting opportunity to hear from an inspiring group of wāhine excelling in different areas of trades and engineering and how you can discover career options in these fast-paced, fulfilling industries.

Our guest speakers come from a vast range of backgrounds and will share their personal journeys, challenges, and successes in their industry-specific areas. Learn firsthand how they carved their paths and how you can embark on your own rewarding career. Get inspired by their incredible stories and find out more about each wahine below the registration form.

Come and engage with us, get your questions answered, and have a chance to win some awesome spot prizes. There is also an opportunity to network after the panels, with light refreshments provided.

Date: Wednesday 28 August 2024
Time: 11.45am-1.30pm
Venue: RkLg.14, L Block, Rotokauri Campus

This event is proudly sponsored by TITUS Consulting, Plumbing World, and The Tool Shed.

Register below, and we will send you a reminder closer to the event date:


Theresa Longuet-Higgins

Theresa Longuet-Higgins staff photo for J T Carter

J T Carter Plumbers
Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying

Theresa is now a second-year plumbing apprentice with J T Carter Plumbers after starting her apprenticeship with the company in late 2022. Theresa enjoys the range of work that the plumbing trade encompasses, specifically the fact that one day is never the same. Whether she's at a residential new build fitting off the new bathroom and kitchen, or when she's at an industrial site the next day fixing a broken pipe, knee-deep in a trench, Theresa finds there is so much to learn and experience in the plumbing trade.

Theresa also enjoys the physical hands-on approach to plumbing; physically getting her hands dirty and seeing the end result gives her a lot of job satisfaction. When she turns up to a job and thinks, "How can I get this done?". She uses the knowledge that others have taught her along the way to figure out a solution and how to make it work. She strongly believes that the more wāhine in the trades, the better.

Bhawna Mathur 

Bhawna Mathur smiling for a portrait on white background

Niko Engineering Ltd
Electrical Engineering

Bhawna is an Electrical AutoCAD Designer at Niko Engineering Limited. Backed with a solid academic background, she has completed a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering (Honours equivalent to NZQF Level 8) and a Graduate Diploma in Electrical Technology with a focus on Power Strand. 

She has a profound knowledge of electrical machines and power system analysis and design and is proficient in the Power World Simulator, GAMS, and MATLAB for power system analysis.

Renee Johnston

Renee Johnston holding her happy baby while dressed in her carpentry construction attire

Hispec Construction
3rd-year Carpentry Apprentice

Renee is a third-year carpentry apprentice working Hispec Construction. In the last year, she has taken on another role and has been navigating becoming a Mum while also continuing to work and complete her qualifications. In a male-dominated industry, Renee stands as a beacon of inspiration for women everywhere, proving that there is indeed a place for all in the trades industry.

She is currently in the process of getting signed off as a qualified builder and is proud to be a wahine working in trades. Her remarkable dedication and talent have not gone unnoticed. Further reinforcing her abilities, Renee clinched the second spot in the 2022 Regional NZCB Apprentice Challenge. Her journey is a compelling story of determination, skill, and the drive to create change, providing a powerful narrative that can inspire more women to take up trades.

Amy Fitzgerald

Amy Fitzpatrick

Pink Sparky Business Owner

Amy started her electrical apprenticeship in 2004, where she gained a variety of residential, commercial, rural and industrial experience. Once qualified, Amy spent four years as a maintenance electrician at the Waikato Hospital, further developing her electrical knowledge and skills. After completing months of commercial wiring and maintenance work at the meat works, Amy worked on process measurement and control projects for an industrial electrical automation company. Amy was bothered by the reputation of tradespeople within the industry and also the need for more women within the trade, so she set on starting a company to turn that around. Pink Sparky was created in 2016 by Amy with a strong set of values such as open communication, customer satisfaction, and employee happiness. Pink Sparky is a small but ever-expanding company that focuses on delivering quality jobs every time.

Amy loves seeing wāhine getting out there and giving construction trades a go. Completing a trade is a real option for anyone wanting and willing to put in the hard work. Pink Sparky is dedicated to guiding women in the right direction with any advice and guidance to get them into a career they'll love. Pink Sparky also proudly wear the Pink Ribbon on their shirts to help promote breast cancer awareness.

Seymohn Bethwaite

Seymohn Bethwaite standing next to a cone truck smiling in her work high-vis
Civil Engineering 


With a passion for civil engineering ignited during daily collaboration with professionals in the field, Seymohn embarked on a journey to shape her own trajectory within the industry. Despite some apprehensions stemming from her roles as a mother and wife, she seized the opportunity and pursued a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) at Wintec in 2019, determined to surmount any challenges that lay ahead. Graduating in 2022 marked the commencement of her career journey in engineering, beginning as an assistant transportation safety engineer at Hamilton City Council. There, she eagerly absorbed every opportunity to expand her skill set and proficiency.

Seymohn currently works at Downer as a Project Engineer, specialising in Traffic Signals and ITS. She has leveraged her technical prowess and unique life experiences to craft solutions through a distinct lens. She aspires to catalyse positive transformations in people's lives, whether by streamlining their daily commute or advocating for inclusive infrastructure design.
She firmly believes that the only limitations we face are those we impose upon ourselves. Envisioning a boundless career, she strives not only for personal fulfilment but also to inspire others, especially wāhine, to transcend their own boundaries.

Donna Williams

Donna Williams standing in front of her business sign, Gumdrops Desserts
Gumdrops Desserts
Hospitality and culinary 

Donna is the creator of Gumdrops Desserts in Hamilton and employs Wintec culinary graduates, qualified Chefs, culinary specialists, and hospitality superstars. She has a passion for creating, a willingness to put in the hard work, and a driving force to see how she could turn her skills into a thriving business.

Of Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent, she knows that life events can challenge us, as we strive towards our goals. Within a short period of time in early 2020, Donna lost her mother to cancer, was made redundant due to Covid and within weeks, her husband passed away from sickness. Drawing upon her resilience, strength and determination to not only survive but to thrive, Donna embarked on her Gumdrops Desserts journey. In August 2020, armed with a cake mixer gifted to her by her mother and utensils from her own kitchen, she leased a space and started to recreate a variety of her family's favourite nostalgic Kiwi desserts.

Today, Gumdrops Desserts is a growing business with a fun retro vibe with a commercial production area, two retail locations in Hamilton, one of those being New Zealand's only dessert drive-thru, and a mobile unit servicing events and regional sales.
In addition to her passion for desserts, business, and whānau, she loves to travel and explore and is also a keynote speaker on overcoming challenges and never giving up. Her previous experience in the airline industry saw her travel the world, experiencing a variety of different cultures and cuisines, gaining a broad insight into the world's sweet culinary offerings and a greater appreciation for the taste and freshness of ingredients available here at home. 

Sasha Devia

Sasha in her TRT uniform on site

Mechanical engineering 

Sasha came from Santiago, Chile and started her journey at Wintec studying automotive engineering in 2021. She graduated with merit and was introduced to the world of mechanical engineering in 2022. After enjoying her first year, she joined TRT for ten weeks of work experience and was offered an apprenticeship and full-time job.

Along with this outstanding achievement, Sasha was also the first wahine apprentice and first welder and fabricator at TRT. She is grateful for TRT's support and is currently in the third year of her apprenticeship. She has had many great experiences that have enriched her career and was highlighted in the Cranes and Lifting Magazine in Australia.
While the road has not been easy, she continues to push herself and is proud of where she is today.


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