Interview: Penny White


Penny White was recently the lucky winner of a Nissan Navara, thanks her attendance at a CONZTRUCT event in Masterton. As a young woman who’s enjoying a fulfilling career in a male-dominated industry, we thought her story was definitely worth sharing.

Why did you choose to be a sparkie?

“I tried uni first but didn’t love being in a classroom and wasn’t excited about what I was learning. I wanted to find a way to learn and earn money at the same time. My partner was also getting into a building apprenticeship, and I thought, why not?!”

Of all trades, why electrical?

“Well, plumbing wasn’t an option and I think electrical was probably the cleanest of the trades! I also was having my house re-wired at the time and that piqued my interest. I saw it as a challenge and sensed I would never get bored.”

What do you love most about being an electrician?

“Definitely the variety. I also love the fact I can bring my dog to work, the people, the problem solving and finding new and better ways of doing things. I don’t have the strength that the guys have, but that allows me to think differently about things.”

What is it like working with your current employer, Hoskins Energy Systems?

“It’s such an awesome place to work. I love the fact it’s a family business with a focus on renewable energy, with such a diversity of projects and clients. It’s great I get to do a bit of everything. As a young female in a male dominated industry, I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received. It has made jumping into this industry really easy.”

What’s next in your career?

“I’ve only just finished my apprenticeship so it’s a little early for me to say. I’m still learning so much! It’s great to finally have my license though and be in the position I can help new people coming through their apprenticeship.”

What does it mean to win a ute?

“I’ve never won anything before, so it was amazing! I couldn’t believe it! I’m just starting out in my career, so it has given me a big leg-up. I was told about my win in our weekly meeting at work so that was very cool and exciting for everyone in our team.”