Women keen on driving the police force
Two women have taken up positions with the Fiji Police Transport Pool.
In an institution that is usually viewed as being dominated by men, women are slowly taking up more non-traditional roles within the Fiji Police Force.
Alanieta Lewaicei is currently employed as an auto electrician based at the Transport Pool tasked with servicing Police owned vehicles, a role she has enjoyed for the past four years.
“I thought it would be challenging working in a male dominated institution, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, and I have enjoyed every minute of my time being a member of the Transport Pool”.
Hailing from Wailevu, Tunuloa, Cakaudrove, the mother of two said she could cope with the demands of her work with the support of her family.
“I sometimes have to travel to maritime islands, and I’ve spent two weeks in Koro and even a month in Rotuma servicing vehicles and the entire time away my husband has held the fort allowing me to concentrate on my work”.
Having studied at the Fiji National University, Alanieta first took up an apprenticeship with the Public Works Department before making the decision to join the Fiji Police Force, one she has never regretted.
Echoing similar sentiments is Waciwaci, Lakeba native WSC Olivia Waqabaca, the lone female driver with the Fiji Police Transport Pool.
WSC Waqabaca’s journey into the Fiji Police Force was met with a lot of challenges; however, she was persistent in securing a place.
“I knew I would have to work mainly with men and this did not concern me at all, and while it took some time to get settled, we all have a great working relationship and gender is not even an issue”.
Tasked with driving duties as well as an administrative role in looking after Police owned vehicles, she adds she is still encountering the odd, strange look when on driving duties.
Asked about what advice she would have for young girls, she said the key is following your heart.
“When I saw the ad in the paper I was persistent in making sure I was taken in as a driver, and I believe the staff conducting the recruitment drive saw that in me and it’s a passion that should motivate you to achieve what your heart desires”.
“As women, we need to step outside of our comfort zones, and we should not be dictated by what we are capable of doing just because society says so”.