Limitless. To the sky and beyond
21 March 2016
An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
MALE dominated industries are slowly being nudged towards equality as women break barriers and set standards like never before.
Although their numbers may seem small in some occupations, women are steadily projecting their accomplishments everywhere.
One such person is Brownwein Kasito, who seemed unaware of the sound waves of her achievement as she went about her work at the Air Niugini hangar at Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby.
This beautiful woman from Sirumpa Fayantina village in the Henganofi district of the Eastern Highlands had just become the second woman in the aircraft maintenance division to be licensed as an aircraft maintenance engineer.
Her female counterpart, Lyasi Bundu, had done the same some years back.
Brownwein is in her thirties and comes from a family of six. She lost her father in 2010, around the time she joined the aircraft maintenance division. She has since shared the responsibility of supporting her family, and especially her mother.
The rarity of Brownwein’s achievement is not just about her being a woman in a male-dominated field but about the determination and discipline that led to her dream.
She became inspired at a very young age by Juanita Tallman Bryan, an American student who had joined a flying club and learned to fly when she was just 16.
Juanita Bryan provided a flicker of inspiration that lit Brownwein’s passion and she excelled in her studies at Aiyura National High school and went on to study at the PNG University of Technology.
She graduated and briefly joined RD Tuna Cannery’s manufacturing and production department before moving on to the aviation industry with Airlink and then Air Niugini in 2008.
She later moved to the aircraft maintenance division in 2010 where she is now licensed as an aircraft maintenance engineer and works on Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 aircraft.
“Nothing is impossible to do or to overcome,” Brownwein said. “All you have to do is set your mind to it and push harder to achieve your goal.
“Learn from the challenges and become even stronger than before to push you to achieving your dream.
“I am thankful to Air Niugini for supporting me financially and in every way possible and helping me to achieve my dream.”
The aircraft maintenance division now has four females with Cindy Kala and June Taumumu working as aircraft maintenance engineers while six other women are cadets undergoing various stages of training.
Brownwein ended our interview with a brilliant quote from Albert Einstein: “I am thankful to those who said no to me, it is because of them I did it.”
And indeed she did it!
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with Brownvein," Nothing is impossible to overcome in this world".
Women are beginning to make inroads into male--dominated industries. And this is certainly going to change the way certain communities around the world have tended to define the place of the womenfolk in society.
Well done, Brownvein, you have made your Province and the country proud.
Posted by: Paul Waugla Wii | 22 March 2016 at 10:58 PM
Brownein Kasito's story is an inspiration to our young girls in PNG. They just need encouragements from parents, teachers, friends, and employers to help reach their full potential.
Posted by: Joe Herman | 22 March 2016 at 04:19 PM
Brownwein Kasito has done something that ought not be remarkable but is just that. She has succeeded in a male dominated trade within a male dominated society.
In doing so, she is helping to destroy a pervasive stereotype that women are simply not suited to undertake what have historically been male roles.
That this stereotype persists in an era when women work as surgeons, pilots, tradies of all types, astronauts and heads of state strikes me as a triumph for stupidity and prejudice over common sense.
Like Brownwein, my smart, highly educated, tough and determined daughter performs a role with the aviation industry that has historically been the exclusive province of men.
She is one of a dozen or so women who have qualified as Airborne Electronics Analyst in the RAAF. To achieve this goal she has enjoyed the support of most of her male colleagues but a few recidivists have worked hard to obstruct her progress.
Like Brownwein, her success has been the best revenge against those men who have doubted or disparaged her.
The fact that Brownwein and other PNG women are now appearing in traditional male roles represents a change of really quite profound significance. This could never, ever have happened if the traditional gender roles had been allowed to persist.
The fact that they have not is to the credit of PNG, suggesting that, at least amongst the well educated, tradition is not being allowed to hamper progress towards modernity.
The contrast with, for example, many parts of the Islamic world and, it must be admitted, parts of Europe as well, is quite striking.
So, I say well done Brownwein and may you have a stellar career in your chosen career.
Posted by: Chris Overland | 21 March 2016 at 02:52 PM