Hear more about our 2019 panelists...

Another year, another fantastic event encouraging women to consider a career in trades. We cannot do it without our wonderful panelists who share their honest, funny and heart warming accounts of being a woman "on the tools" (or managing them!)

Squadron Leader Rebecca Magdalinos, Mechanic and Aircraft Engineer - Royal New Zealand Air Force

Throughout her engineering career Squadron Leader Magdalinos has held a number of command posts and staff roles, served on all four Bases, led engineering teams to Australia, the UK and the USA and deployed operationally to Egypt. She currently leads the RNZAF youth investment/outreach programmes (STEM focus).

Throughout her career Squadron Leader Magdalinos has been a staunch advocate for, and integral in, the creation and delivery of a variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives. In 2012 Squadron Leader Magdalinos was a founding member of the NZDF LGBTIQ+ support network OverWatch holding various leadership positions within that network for several years. She has also been integral in the Women’s Development space for both RNZAF and NZDF and more recently co-developed the School to Skies residential program as the inaugural Officer in Charge.

A graduate of the Global Women Breakthrough Leaders program (2017) and recipient of the Defence Meritorious Service Medal in 2018.

Squadron Leader Magdalinos is passionate about creating opportunity for all people to live into their potential and invests strongly in people whilst fulfilling her engineering obligations. She is married to Anna and has a sassy little two year old daughter, Abigail.

Cassidy Repia, Automotive Refinisher at Bush Road Panelbeaters

Cassidy is aged 22 and has just finished her apprenticeship in Automotive Refinishing (car painting) through MITO, working at Bush Road Panelbeaters in Auckland.

She was recently announced as the 2019 recipient of the Collision Repair Association Apprentice of the Year – Golden Gun award. A huge feat for the only female in the running in New Zealand!

Cassidy was selected as one of four apprentices to feature in MITO’s digital marketing campaign targeted to school leavers in Oct-Nov 2018 and Feb-Mar 2019. View her MITO profile and video.

Eddie Green, Maintenance Supervisor at Pacific Steel

Eddie is the Maintenance Superintendent at one of Pacific Steels plants and joined the panel to give the "employer" perspective of being (or hiring) a woman in trades.

Pacific Steel are a host company for mechanical and electrical apprentices, and Eddie also manages the apprentice scheme for the company. Eddie has been a leading figure to make Pacific Steel a more diverse and inclusive workforce and a visible supporter of females in the trades. This is demonstrated by Pacific Steel now having a 50% female participation rate in their apprentice scheme (6 of their 12 apprentices are female).

Sophia Hattingh, Apprentice at Pacific Steel

Six months ago Sophia started her electrical apprenticeship at Pacific Steel where she has become a highly valued member of the team. Sophia has a university background but chose to take up an apprenticeship once she finished her University studies and has not looked back since.