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Meralco Female Linecrew: Breaking Gender Stereotypes in a Male-Dominated Field

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Meralco female linecrew Zuzette Castro shows that women can excel in any field.

By Mhicole A. Moral

For many years, the field of electricity line work has been dominated by men. It has traditionally been considered a physically demanding and dangerous job, leading many to assume that men are better suited for the role. However, the perception of this profession has begun to change, and women are now entering the field and making their mark in this previously male-dominated industry.

Meralco has taken a bold step towards pursuing excellence while promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the field of electrical linework. To keep up with the industry’s increasing demands and contribute to the development of knowledgeable lineworkers, the distribution utility has established the Meralco Linecrew Training Program (MLTP) that aims to equip individuals with the necessary skills, knowledge, and commitment to excel in the challenging field of power distribution.

In 2013, Meralco introduced female linecrew trainees into the MLTP, becoming the first power distributor in Southeast Asia to offer this opportunity to women. The move was motivated by Meralco’s belief in the competence of women to excel in technical roles and its commitment to providing equal opportunities for both men and women in the field.

Meralco ensures that the training provided to both male and female linecrew aspirants is equal, emphasizing its commitment to treating all employees with fairness and equality. The MLTP spans six months, with three months dedicated to training at the camp and three months for on-the-job training, allowing aspirants to apply the knowledge gained in practical scenarios.

Upon successfully completing the MLTP, graduates are formally endorsed to Meralco for the hiring process. Once they fulfill all hiring requirements, they are ready to be deployed and actively contribute to Meralco’s mission of providing reliable and efficient electrical services.

Equal opportunities for all

Zuzette Castro, a 34-year-old former overseas Filipino worker from Dubai, joined Meralco as a linecrew last year after participating in the MLTP in 2022. Her journey reflects a significant career shift from being a gasoline station cashier to becoming a third-class female linecrew at Meralco.

Ms. Castro’s motivation stems from her dedication to her son and pride in serving the public through her work.

“It’s really hard to be a linecrew, but I get motivated when I think of my son and of course the pride in my job that I can serve the public,” Ms. Castro said in Tagalog. “My life has changed a lot since I joined Meralco because I can take better care of my son.”

Karen Cañizares, part of the pioneering group of female linecrew trainees in 2013, has progressed within Meralco from being a trainee to currently holding the position of Quality Inspector. Ms. Cañizares emphasizes the career growth opportunities at Meralco and highlights the importance of perseverance and dedication in achieving success within the company.

“There is career growth here at Meralco and they will not treat you differently because you are a woman. As long as you persevere and improve your work, you will succeed,” she shared.

As a result, the inclusion of women in the MLTP not only promotes gender equality but also brings a diverse range of perspectives, skills, and experiences to the table. Meralco’s program ensures that trainees, regardless of gender, are provided with the necessary opportunities to excel in their respective roles.

Meralco is shaping a new generation of lineworkers and setting a precedent for other organizations to follow. Hence, the success of the program not only lies in producing skilled professionals but also in fostering a culture of equality and empowerment within the dynamic world of power distribution.

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