A partnership with the nib Blues starting with the inaugural Sky Super Rugby Aupiki women’s rugby competition next month will reinforce a drive by earthmoving machinery innovator Komatsu to achieve gender equality in its own workplace.
The Blues have announced a two-year collaboration with the global utility, construction, and mining equipment manufacturer to become an official partner of the nib Blues Women’s team beginning with the Sky Super Rugby Aupiki.
nib Blues and Komatsu members, from L to R: Eloise Blackwell, Anna Knight, Andrew Hore, Phil Pritchard, Tenaija Fletcher & Cilia-Marie Po'e-Tofaeono
Komatsu employs more than 4,000 people in Australasia and is at the forefront of its industry in actively pursuing a policy of redressing gender and cultural imbalance.
The company’s partnership will open opportunities for the nib Blues to access best-practice advice from throughout the world, while providing Komatsu with a ‘team of high achieving role models’ to inspire its Apprenticeship Development System.
Komatsu’s first year apprentice of the Year in 2021 was Auckland woman Megan Allen, at 35 not only the first female recipient, but also the first ‘mature age’ apprentice.
“All companies in our sector are currently battling for fresh talent and yet so many are still only drawing from 50 percent of the population,” Komatsu chief executive Phil Pritchard said.
“We have achieved close to a 20 percent female intake and once we get rolling, it will be easier to get to 30 percent and even 50 percent in time.”
Technical innovation is making it increasingly possible for the company’s heavy machinery to be driven and serviced, creating career opportunities for all genders.
Andrew Hore, CEO of the Blues said Komatsu’s commitment to diversity would help drive the development of women’s rugby.
“We were proud of hosting the historic first women’s Super Rugby game between the nib Blues and Chiefs in 2021 and pushing the case for the inaugural competition in 2022.
“Komatsu are equally passionate about growing female involvement in their industry and have a proven record of community support.
“There is direct relevance to the women’s competition and to our team.”
Phil Pritchard welcomed the collaboration between the Blues and Komatsu.
“The Blues women’s team is a powerhouse with amazing talent,” he said.
Komatsu Apprentices & nib Blues Players at the sponsorship ceremony
“Their drive and dedication to compete at the highest level is exactly the mind set we want to instill in our apprentices.”
Mr. Pritchard said the partnership would not only showcase the nib Blue’s remarkable female rugby players while also shining light on the opportunities available in the utilities, construction and mining industry.
“Many are not aware of the diverse roles and career paths available working with evolving and sustainable technologies,” he said.
“From apprentices to engineering, sales, and service technician roles, we want to make sure women are given greater opportunities to make their mark.”