She conquered her fear to find success

Winner

Khrysilla Backo is setting an example for women working in male-dominated industries everywhere, after being named the Woman of the Year at the 2015 Fenestration Australia awards.

The Porters’ glass and aluminium production supervisor received the annual Australian Window Association award, for her significant contribution to the window industry. It’s safe to say that Ms Backo is a woman on a mission, to not only be the best she can be in her career but to also lead by example in the workplace.

“Being a female in a male-dominated industry, I was often told I’d never complete my trade. Their doubting of my ability only made my will to succeed stronger,” Ms Backo said. “I got into the glass and glazing industry because I wanted to conquer my fear of glass that I developed when I was 10, after I fell through a shower screen.

“The more I learnt, the fear was dispelled and a passion for the trade compelled me. I have now worked in the industry for 11 years,” Ms Backo said. Ms Backo’s success in achieving her award was not only based on her overall contribution the windows industry but also her past achievements and support that she offers in supervising apprentices. What really makes her smile, she said, is when apprentices receive awards in their chosen industry.

“I can’t help but be more proud or feel like it is a personal achievement, as we are encouraging our apprentices that while attending TAFE to strive to do their best and work hard,” she said.

Ms Backo adds this title to her impressive swag of awards, having collected a Continuous Improvement Award and Sarina Russo Indigenous Person of the Year Award in 2014.

Despite having been on stage numerous times, she said she was still shy when it came to accepting her awards. However, she said she wasn’t afraid of owning her success. Ms Backo was recognised as the top recipient Australia-wide and was presented the award at the Fenestration Australia 2015 Gala Dinner in Darwin recently.

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