Lonah Johnson

Women's Month Feature

Lonah is a diesel mechanic within our Equipment business. She repairs and services Volvo and SDLG earthmoving machines ranging from dump trucks to excavators and loaders. Her work involves pre-delivery inspections on newly purchased machines, minor and major repairs on customer equipment, and servicing and preventative maintenance for Babcock's fleet. She is also part of Babcock’s apprenticeship programme and shares her knowledge and skills by working hand-in-hand with apprentices. We asked Lonah to share some insight on what it's like working in a male dominated industry.

Lonah Johnson

What's the best thing about your job?            
My role as a diesel mechanic is interesting as it requires constant learning and each time I see a repaired machine leave our workshop floor I feel proud. The machines I service are huge, the work is physically demanding, and as new models are released mechanics are required to learn and understand new technology.                     

Did you always know what you wanted to do in your career?
I’ve always had a passion for engineering but wasn’t initially sure what I wanted to do. I thought being a diesel mechanic was a job for men. During my studies however I became more and more interested in this field, not only wanting to learn more but also determined to defy the odds by becoming a female diesel mechanic.

How did you get here?                              
I began my apprenticeship with Babcock in 2014 and was privileged to be among the first group of female apprentices ever to be employed by Babcock in this field. Although challenging at first, support from my instructor and other artisans helped me push through four years of training. In April 2018 I wrote and passed my trade test and I am now a qualified diesel mechanic.

Have you experienced any challenges in your career due to being female?           
The yellow machinery industry is male-dominated so being part of the first group of female Babcock apprentices came with a number of challenges. I had to prove to my male counterparts that I was capable of repairing these giant machines and the heavy equipment put my physical strength to the test.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt?                       
Courage and determination can take your dreams far. I’ve also learnt that education is invaluable as through this we can bring change to the world.

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