She may be South Australia’s only female materials handling salesperson.
Patricia Dawes, Australian forklift manufacturer and distributor Task Australia’s first female salesperson, has just moved from Sydney to Adelaide. She may be South Australia’s only female materials handling salesperson.
But Task’s South Australia area manager is undaunted by that. She doesn’t think her gender is a disadvantage in the forklift industry.
"Yes, it is male dominated, but I would recommend this industry to other women.
"There are great opportunities for women in the sales and service sectors. It’s a very close-knit industry that can be supportive and rewarding."
Dawes has not observed differences between the working styles of men and women in her five years in the industry.
She said differences came down to "personality, dedication and ambition", not gender.
Her role involves maintaining relationships with existing customers and expanding the customer base.
Dawes, 28, began her career as a sales co-ordinator for a Sydney forklift retailer. In her sales position, she picked up valuable experience in service and marketing. She credits her first job for broadening her industry knowledge.
"I’m lucky to work as part of a national team of area managers who have made me feel welcome and treated me as an equal from day one.
"I have received endless support and motivation. At the same time, the same expectations were placed on me."
Dawes found it "easy" to balance her job and her personal life.
"[Work-life balance] means being able to enjoy and dedicate time to your family, interests and hobbies and have a successful career.
"My husband and I just moved here from Sydney so most of our time is spent settling into and exploring Adelaide," she said.
Dawes is an animal lover, volunteering once a fortnight at the RSPCA Lonsdale shelter. She takes her Great Dane along when she goes fishing and camping with her husband, who has just completed 10 years of service with the Australian Army.
Dawes enjoys keeping up to date with the Australian market through Forkliftaction.com’s Australasian news section.