NSW Ambulance has revealed the incredible recent surge in women choosing paramedicine as a career, with females now making up almost half the organisation's workface and 75 per cent of Call Centre staff.
Since 2015 the number of women employed by NSW Ambulance has increased by eight per cent across the state, the trend extends to Orange where about 50 per cent of paramedics are women including two station officers.
It's a timely statistic as International Women's Day approaches, with the spotlight set to shine brightly on females working on the frontline considering the last 12 months.
Katie McLean and Elle Wrigley, 35 and 27 respectively, are two of those women working on the frontline in Orange after taking two very different routes to a career in paramedicine.
Being relatively new to the job it's so amazing to have strong, female role models in the region to look up to and seek guidance from.Katie McLean
"I was a vet nurse in Sydney, a dog was brought in after being hit by a car early in the morning and I realised how much I loved emergency work and wanted to help people too, so I enrolled to study paramedicine at (Charles Sturt University) Bathurst the next morning," Ms McLean explained.
"I was accepted and moved to Orange two weeks later. Changing careers and moving my life to be a mature-age student was daunting, but it was such a great decision and I've never looked back."
"I've always loved people and wanted a challenging career that would let me work in the community," Ms Wrigley said.
Ms McLean bounced around the region before being posted to Orange and said, especially considering she's just four years into her career, it's been inspiring to see the amount and calibre of women in the field.
"I did my probation year at Newcastle then I was posted to Gilgandra, after that I applied for jobs in Young and Molong - I was slowly inching my way closer to Orange," Ms McLean laughed.
"It's great to see so many women choosing this career path. Some of the best paramedics I've worked with are women and it's so amazing to have strong, female role models in the region to look up to and seek guidance from.
"We are very lucky to have such a high calibre of paramedics in the regional areas in general."
Ms Wrigley, six years into her career as a paramedic, wholeheartedly agreed.
"I definitely work with more females compared to five years ago, it's such a great thing to see so many women in paramedicine," she said.
"I've always found myself working in traditional, male-dominated workplaces and I've always been welcomed, encouraged and had equal opportunity, but having more women does create such a great balance and work environment too.
"I think females are more empowered, encouraged and also expected to support themselves and build their own careers without traditional social restraints now."
International Women's Day is on Monday, March 8.
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